Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law

Progressivism, Populism & Constitutional Review in Germany


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[1]. I would prove my own claim to be false if I purported to come up with a footnote at this point listing the major -- or even all -- contributions in this field. The reader is kindly asked to check Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, or the local data bases (like Hollis, the Wilson index, or other various legal resources indexes) herself; maybe with the help of a keyword search ìjudicial reviewî. However, to do justice to the dignity of a first footnote, I will nevertheless more or less randomly list some of the relevant literature in this field: ALEXANDER M. BICKEL, THE LEAST DANGEROUS BRANCH. THE SUPREME COURT AT THE BAR OF POLITICS, New Haven/ London (Yale University Press) 1962; JOHN HART ELY, DEMOCRACY AND DISTRUST. A THEORY OF JUDICIAL REVIEW, Cambridge/London (Harvard University Press) 1980; JESSE H. CHOPER, JUDICIAL REVIEW AND THE NATIONAL POLITICAL PROCESS, Chicago/London (The University of Chicago Press) 1980; MICHAEL J. PERRY, THE CONSTITUTION, THE COURTS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS, New Haven/ London (Yale University Press) 1982; MICHAEL J. PERRY, THE CONSTITUTION IN THE COURTS: LAW OR POLITICS?, New York/ Oxford (Oxford University Press) 1994; SORTIRIOS A. BARBER, THE CONSTITUTION OF JUDICIAL POWER, Baltimore/ London (Johns Hopkins University Press) 1993; CHRISTOPHER WOLFE, THE RISE OF MODERN JUDICIAL REVIEW: FROM CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION TO JUDGE-MADE LAW, revised ed., Lanham/ London (Littlefield Adams) 1994; ROBERT A. BURT, THE CONSTITUTION IN CONFLICT, Cambridge (Mass.)/ London (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) 1992; ROBERT BORK, THE TEMPTING OF AMERICA: THE POLITICAL SEDUCTION OF THE LAW, New York et al. (Touchstone Book) 1990. Ely's book alone elicited a flood of publications of which I will mention at least some: SYMPOSIUM: JUDICIAL REVIEW VERSUS DEMOCRACY, 42 OHIO STATE L. J. 1 (1981) [with articles by James Meeks, Larry Alexander, Michael Benedict, Raoul Berger, Paul Brest, Thomas Gerety, Joseph Grano, Richard Kay, Earl Maltz, Richard Parker, Michael Perry, David Richards, Richard Saphire, Aviam Soifer, Mark Tushnet, Harry Wellington]; SYMPOSIUM: CONSTITUTIONAL ADJUDICATION AND DEMOCRATIC THEORY, 56 NEW YORK UNIV. L. REV. 259 (1981) [with articles by JohnGibbons, Michael Perry, Henry Monoghan, John Ely, Frank Michelman, Lawrence Sager, Terrance Sandalow, Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, Samuel Estreicher]; SYMPOSIUM ON DEMOCRACY AND DISTRUST: TEN YEARS LATER, 77 VIRGINIA L. REV. 631 (1991) [with articles by Mark Tushnet, Richard Posner, Frederick Schauer, Michael Perry, Daniel Ortiz, Michael Klarman, John Ely]; Bruce A. Ackerman, Beyond Carolene Products, 98 HARVARD L. REV. 713 (1985); Laurence H. Tribe, The Puzzling Persistence of Process-Based Constitutional Theories, 89 YALE L. J. 1063 (1980); Mark V. Tushnet, Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Contributions of John Hart Ely to Constitutional Theory, 89 YALE L. J. 1057 (1980); J. M. Balkin, The Footnote, 83 NORTHWESTERN UNIV. L. REV. 275 (1989); Paul Brest, The Fundamental Rights Controversy: The Essential Contradictions of Normative Constitutional Scholarship, 90 YALE L. J. 1063 (1981); Ron Replogle, The Scope of Representation-Reinforcing Judicial Review, 92 COLUMBIA L. REV. 1592 (1992); Michael J. Glennon, Personal Autonomy in Democracy and Distrust, 1 CONSTITUTIONAL COMMENTARY 229 (1984); David Lyons, Substance, Process, and Outcome in Constitutional Theory, 72 CORNELL L. REV. 745 (1987); Gary C. Leedes, Democratic Despotism and the Inadequacy of a Representation-Reinforcing Point of View, 23 SANTA CLARA L. REV. 769 (1983). The signs of constitutional scholars being fed up with the counter-majoritarian difficulty, however, multiply. See, e.g., Erwin Chemerinsky, The Price of Asking the Wrong Question: An Essay on Constitutional Scholarship and Judicial Review, 62 TEXAS L.REV. 1207 (1984), at 1207 ("obsession of constitutional law scholarship"); Barry Friedman, Dialogue and Judicial Review, 91 MICHIGAN L.REV. 577 (1993), at 578 ("constitutional scholars have been preoccupied, indeed one might say obsessed, by the perceived necessity of legitimizing judicial review"); Bruce A. Ackerman, The Storrs Lectures: Discovering the Constitution, 93 YALE L.J. 1013 (1984), at 1016 ("Hardly a year goes by without some learned professor announcing that he has discovered the final solution to the countermajoritarian difficulty, or, even more darkly, that the countermajoritarian difficulty is insoluable.") Further examples provided by Steven P. Croley, The Majoritarian Difficulty: Elective Judiciaries and the Rule of Law, 62 U. CHICAGO L.REV. 689 (1995), at 712-3 (footnote 66). It is kind of ironic that there exists now a staple of literature on the countermajoritarian difficulty arguing that this is an overrated problem.

2. Examples of in-depth analyses of the Bundesverfassungsgerichtís role in Germanyís legal and political process are: Ingwer Ebsen, Das Bundesverfassungsgericht als Element gesellschaftlicher Selbstregulierung: Eine pluralistische Theorie der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit im demokratischen Verfassungsstaat, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1985; FRIEDRICH-WILHELM DOPATKA, DAS BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT UND SEINE UMWELT: ZUR ANALYSE DER ENTWICKLUNG DES BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHTS UND DER ADRESSATENSPEZIFISCHEN BEZÜGE SEINER RECHTSPRECHUNG, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1982. One can read the following book as a functional account of all constitutional organs including the Court: GERHARD ZIMMER, FUNKTION - KOMPETENZ - LEGITIMATION: GEWALTENTEILUNG IN DER ORDNUNG DES GRUNDGESETZES. Staatsfunktionen als gegliederte Wirk- und Verantwortungsbereiche - Zu einer verfassungsgemäßen Funktions- und Interpretationslehre, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1979. Another powerful proponent of a functional perspective on the Bundesverfassungsgericht is Alfred Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: ALTERNATIVKOMMENTAR ZUM GRUNDGESETZ FÜR DIE BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. 2 (Rudolf Wassermann ed.), 2nd edition, Neuwied (Luchterhand) 1989.

3. The Supreme Court nevertheless asserted this power: Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803). (This as a side-remark for potential European readers.)

4. I owe both the terminology as well as the conception to Professor Jack Balkin: Cf. J.M. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism as Constitutional Categories, 104 Yale L.J. 1935 (1995) [hereinafter Populism and Progressivism]. He would argue that distrust of popular participation and an energized citizenry is all but amazing -- instead, he would say, it is part of the leading progressivist discourse (ibid., at 1989). He is probably right. ìAmazingî, however, relates to the way in which this distrust surfaces in Germany, i.e. the barely concealed hostility of the German legal (and political) elite displayed in response to shyly emerging populist tendencies.

5. Yet, some Justices appear to be receptive of the underlying problem of judicial decision-making and a looming Richterstaat. See, e.g., Justice Böckenfördeís article about the current state of the German theory of basic rights in which he calls for a cut of the objective dimension of basic rights in order to prevent a government of judges: Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Grundrechte als Grundsatznormen. Zur gegenwärtigen Lage der Grundrechtsdogmatik, 29 DER STAAT 1 (1990); reprinted in ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, STAAT, VERFASSUNG, DEMOKRATIE. STUDIEN ZUR VERFASSUNGSTHEORIE UND ZUM VERFASSUNGSRECHT, Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1991, pp. 159-199 (especially at 189 et seq.).

6. However, ìseizure of powerî through the Bundesverfassungsgericht, as we will see later, does not adequately describe what is going on between legislature and constitutional court (parliament, and meanwhile government, too, contribute to increasing political decision-making and value imposition at Karlsruhe, the Court's seat). The impact, however, is the same, namely the reallocation of responsibility which is not followed by the reallocation of accountability.

7. Examples are the two decisions on abortion, BVerfGE 39, 1 -- Abortion I; BVerfGE 88, 203 -- Abortion II; the decision in re deployment of German armed forces ëout of areaí, BVerfGE 90, 286; the Maastricht decision, BVerfGE 89, 155; or the very recent decision on whether or not it is covered by the right to freedom of speech to call soldiers murderers (not published yet).

8. Of March 12, 1951; Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) I, 1951, p. 1473.

9. 1 BvR 1087/91, BVerfG, 1995 Neue Juristische Wochenschrift, at 2477. The decision was made public on August 10, 1995.

10. From 1951 (when the Bundesverfassungsgericht was founded) until August 1995: around 160000 letters. From August until November 1995: approximately 250000 letters. See DER SPIEGEL, November 20, 1995 (No. 47), p. 40.

11. See the index provided by Christine Landfried, Bundesverfassungsgericht und Gesetzgeber. Wirkungen der Verfassungsrechtsprechung auf parlamentarische Willensbildung und soziale Realität, Baden-Baden (Nomos 1984, at p. 152.

12. Totally different and even diametrical stories have been told, for example, during the fierce debates over judicial review during the Weimar Republic. Cf., inter alia, Hans Kelsen, Wer soll H¸ter der Verfassung sein?, 1930/31 DIE JUSTIZ 576; Hans Kelsen, Wesen und Entwicklung der Staatsgerichtsbarkeit, 5 VERÖFFENTLICHUNGEN DER VEREINIGUNG DER DEUTSCHEN STAATSRECHTSLEHRER 30 (1929), reprinted in excerpts in VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT (Peter Häberle ed.), Darmstadt (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft) 1976, 77; CARL SCHMITT, DER HÜTER DER VERFASSUNG (1931), 3rd ed. Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1985. See for historical accounts CHRISTOPH GUSY, RICHTERLICHES PRÜFUNGSRECHT. EINE VERFASSUNGSGESCHICHTLICHE UNTERSUCHUNG, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1985; KARL REINHARD HINKEL, VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT ZWISCHEN RECHT UND POLITIK: EINE HISTORISCHE BETRACHTUNG, Herford (Maximilian) 1984; HELGE WENDENBURG, DIE DEBATTE UM DIE VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT UND DER METHODENSTREIT IN DER STAATSRECHTSLEHRE IN DER WEIMARER REPUBLIK, Göttingen (Otto Schwartz) 1984.

13. J.M. Balkin, What Is A Postmodern Constitutionalism?, 90 Michigan L.R. 1966 (1992), at 1984-6.

14. simultaneously helps to keep the gap between the legal academia on the one hand and the judiciary on the other hand relatively narrow. Neither is there a generally conservative judiciary and a generally liberal academia (in fact, both are moderately conservative), nor is the legal academia self-absorbed and producing work that is largely irrelevant to the actual practice of law. Therefore, German legal scholars may suffer from an inferiority complex vis-à-vis American scholars when it comes to being on the edge of constitutional theory; on the other hand, however, they can console themselves with the thought that judges and justices may not only read their articles but even be influenced by them.

15. James G. March & Johan P. Olsen, Democratic Governance, New York/ London et al. (The Free Press), at p. 173.

16. RenÈ Marcic, Verfassung und Verfassungsgericht, Wien (Springer) 1963, at p. 212.

17. Law school students learn that the facts they are given require a ìsolutionî (ìFallösungî).

18. Gary Minda, Postmodern Legal MovemenTS: LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE AT CENTURY'S END, New York/ London (New York University Press) 1995, at pp. 14, 15, 20, 22, 23. See also Pierre Schlag, The Problem of the Subject, 69 TEX. L.REV. 1627 (1991); Pierre Schlag, Normativity and the Politics of Form, 139 U. PA. L.REV. 801 (1991).

19. It is this narrative about about law and politics that misleads part of the German legal scholars in their account of the function, future, and the very institution of a constitutional court. This applies to more ìprogressive" liberal scholars, too. Cf., e.g., Professor Schlink's narrative depicting "politics" as having been discredited by the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, and therefore reinforcing the old German belief "that politics was essentially a dirty business and law a clean one". Conceding that the national-socialist period had generated a lot of terrible legal decisions, Schlink continues: "[T]he German belief in the purity of law had always differentiated between law in its original and natural state, and that which lawyers and judges make of it." This helps Schlink not only to explain the natural law renaissance -- an explanation which does not reach far enough -- but leads him to maintain that because of dirty politics, the Bundesverfassungsgericht enjoyed a legitimacy 'surplus' and that it was these conditions "that invited and demanded that the Bundesverfassungsgericht take on an activist role." (emphasis added). Schlink carries his distorted observations into the present and gives an account of the future role of the German (and of other) Constitutional Courts: "[In the emerging democratic states of Eastern Europe], too, a constitutional court, occupied by the few honest, wise people it requires, may find a vacuum of legitimacy and encounter expectations and hopes that will lead it to take on an activist role. The faith with which citizens of the former German Democratic Republic view the Bundesverfassungsgericht provides evidence of this potential." Bernhard Schlink, German Constitutional Culture in Transition, 14 CARDOZO L. REV. 711 (1993). [Reprinted in CONSTITUTIONALISM, IDENTITY, DIFFERENCE, AND LEGITIMACY -- THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES (Michel Rosenfeld ed.), Durham and London (Duke University Press) 1994, pp. 197 et seq.] Naturally, this diagnosis is in stark contrast to my own.

20. This last point casts some additional light on another striking -- and for the present context very illuminating -- difference between the German and the American legal and political systems: their respective understandings of the value and weight of democratic decisionmaking. Professor Brugger very perceptively observes that American legal scholarship is not caught within the scheme of raw juxtaposition of society and state which is so typical of the German tradition. (For a contemporary discussion see, for instance, Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Die Bedeutung der Unterscheidung von Staat und Gesellschaft im demokratischen Sozialstaat der Gegenwart, in: ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, RECHT, STAAT, FREIHEIT. STUDIEN ZUR RECHTSPHILOSOPHIE, STAATSTHEORIE UND VERFASSUNGSGESCHICHTE, Frankfurt/M. [Suhrkamp] 1991, pp. 209-243.) The latter assigns private freedom, at least in tendency, to the societal sphere whereas public virtue and justice are generally reserved for state authority or at least for the Federal Constitutional Court. (Cf. Winfried Brugger, Wertordnung und Rechtsdogmatik im amerikanischen Verfassungsrecht, in: RECHTSPOSITIVISMUS UND WERTBEZUG DES RECHTS. VORTRÄGE DER TAGUNG DER DEUTSCHEN SEKTION DER INTERNATIONALEN VEREINIGUNG FÜR RECHTS- UND SOZIALPHILOSOPHIE IN DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND (Ralf Dreier ed.), Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie Beiheft 37, Stuttgart [Franz Steiner] 1990, 173-192, at 189) The dialectic of private freedom and public justice, however, runs through institutions, individuals, and spheres, and social or political power of decisionmaking in all these spheres can be motivated in egoistic or in responsible ways. The American perception of the process of constitutional adjudication is pretty much that of a political process of argumentation and of decisionmaking by majority (although under qualified conditions). Observers therefore do not have the expectation that the Supreme Court, while interpreting general values such as justice, equality, or freedom, is capable of inferring a solution from the Constitution that is objective, neutral, and better founded than that of a citizen. In other words: "The Constitution does not play the role of a secular bible, and the justices are not viewed as pontifical interpreters." (Brugger, ibid., at 189-90.) Rather, the Court is seen as a political organ that has partly handed down brilliant decisions, but that has as well totally failed sometimes. This realistic perspective leads to the conclusion that the Court needs to have good reasons to question legislative decisions, such as the need to correct a deficiency of the process of political decisionmaking (and this is, incidentally, exactly what the representation-reinforcing or participation-reinforcing approach has in mind). In contrast to this, it appears that in Germany, neither the public consciousness nor the legal academia expect a strong and fundamentally legitimating effect from the societal-political-parliamentary process. It is too fast that political questions are viewed as constitutionally determined problems that are ultimately to be decided by the Bundesverfassungsgericht as the guardian of freedom, equality, and justice. Brugger calls this "unpolitical and trusting in authority". (Brugger, ibid., at 190.)

21. March & Olsen, Democratic Governance, supra note 15, at p. 178. The first point is stressed, from the perspective of general systems theory, by Luhmann: Cf., e.g., Niklas Luhmann, The Morality of Risk and the Risk of Morality, 3 Intíl Rev. Soc. 87 (1987), at 94; Niklas Luhmann, The Code of the Moral, 14 Cardozo L.Rev. 995 (1993); Niklas Luhmann, Ethik als Reflexionstheorie der Moral, in Niklas Luhmann, Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik: Studien zur Wissenssoziologie der modernen Gesellschaft Vol. 3, Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1993, pp. 358-447; Niklas Luhmann, Soziologie der Moral, in THEORIETECHNIK UND MORAL (Niklas Luhmann & Stepan H. Pfürtner eds.), 1978, pp. 8-116; NIKLAS LUHMANN, PARADIGM LOST: ÜBER DIE ETHISCHE REFLEXION DER MORAL, Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1990. See also some shorter remarks in Luhmann's most basic and important 1984 work that lays the theoretical foundations (which is finally, finally translated to English now): NIKLAS LUHMANN, SOCIAL SYSTEMS, Stanford (Stanford University Press) 1995, at 234 et seq.

22. BVerfGE 90, 286, with the evaluation of Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg & Ulrich R. Haltern, The Decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 12 July 1994 in Re Deployment of the German Armed Forces ëOut of Areaí, 41 Netherlands Intíl L. Rev. 285 (1994).

23. This constitutional reality leads me to the conclusion that Akhil Amarís attack on the significance of the countermajoritarian difficulty is myopic and out of touch with reality. Amar, in general, seems to believe that judicial review is subject to majoritarian review anyway, and that therefore there is little to worry -- the majority gets the final say in any case. One argument is that the people can always amend the Constitution. He points out that judicial review can only be properly understood in the shadow of the constitutional amendment process. Naturally, it is true that there is the legal right to amend the Constitution -- however, this reflects poorly in reality. See Akhil Reed Amar, Philadelphia Revisited: Amending the Constitution Outside Article V, 55 U. CHIC. L. REV. 1043 (1988), at 1044; Akhil Reed Amar, The Consent of the Governed: Constitutional Amendment Outside Article V, 94 COLUMBIA L.REV. 457 (1994), at 458.

24. Cf. the (deliberate and slightly critical) account given by Brun-Otto Bryde, Verfassungsentwicklung. Stabilität und Dynamik im Verfassungsrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1982, at 264 et seq. Very critical is Helmut Ridder, Art. 79, paras. 1 et seq., in Kommentar zum Grundgesetz f¸r DIE BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. 2, REIHE ALTERNATIVKOMMENTARE (Rudolf Wassermann ed.), 2nd edition, Neuwied (Luchterhand) 1989.

25. At that time it was presided over then Josef Wintrich, a Catholic jurist with his roots in Thomistic tradition. See Donald P. Kommers, The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany, Durham/ London (Duke University Press) 1989, at p. 54.

26. As Jack Balkin makes clear, there can be ëleftistsí and ërightistsí in either category, populism and progressivism. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4.

27. It appears as if ësubstantiallyí informed criticism of the judiciary -- or right/left ciriticism -- falls into the trap of incoherency in whatever system and on whatever level. Chemerinsky relates the following anecdote: In the reelection campaign for California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird, liberals argued that her reelection should, in the name of judicial independence, hinge on her integrity and judicial competence, not on how she decided controversial cases. Meanwhile, conservatives argued that she should be retained in judicial office only if her judicial decisions (on capital punishment, for example) were deemed acceptable by a majority of Californians. In contrast, during the Robert Bork confirmation process, liberals argued that Bork should be confirmed only if his views on civil rights, privacy, and freedom of speech were acceptable to a majority of Americans. Conservatives argued to the contrary that, in the name of judicial independence, Bork's confirmation should depend solely upon his qualifications, not on his views on salient constitutional questions. See Erwin Chemerinsky, Evaluating Judicial Candidates, 61 S. CAL. L. REV. 1985 (1988), at 1985, 1989-90; see also Croley, 62 U. CHIC. L.REV. 689 (1995), at 745 (supra note 1).

28. Erwin Chemerinsky makes a similar observation to the one I associate with the revised story: ìHow much discretion should be accorded the judiciary in constitutional interpretation? A truly honest answer would be that it depends on the identity of the justices. When there are justices I like (whose values I agree with), I want them to have a great deal of discretion. But if the justices' beliefs are contrary to mine, I want to restrain them. This simple observation explains much of modern constitutional scholarship..." ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, INTERPRETING THE CONSTITUTION, New York (Praeger) 1987, at 117.

29. Lawrence Lessig, Understanding Changed Readings: Fidelity and Theory, 47 Stanford L.Rev. 395 (1995), suggesting a typology of four justifications for changed constitutional readings: amendment, synthesis, fact translation, and structural translation.

30. Preuþ even argues that the Court is in fact unable to control the legislature or government because the Justices of the Bundesverfassungsgericht belong to the same power elite as Members of Parliament and of government. Moreover, the Bundesverfassungsgericht depends on the politiciansí cooperation in order to ensure the implementation of its decisions. Ulrich K. Preuß, Aus dem Geiste des Konsenses: Zur Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, MERKUR 1987, 1-12. I believe that this view, as a monocausal explanation, constitutes an over-simplification in the light of the complicated interaction between the Court and Parliament and government. However, the point remains that there are close personal contacts, and that the Court has no power of implementing its own decisions and therefore depends on other branches. This may, subtly, serve as an incentive to decide in accordance with the dominant political forces. For a differenciated account of the implementation problem in relation to the Bundesverfassungsgericht, considering factors such as the Court's authority, its public estimation, and public opinion in general: Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: ALTERNATIV-KOMMENTAR, supra note 2, para. 60 with further reference. Croley includes the implementation problem in his list of why the (American) federal judiciary is accountable to the majority: "[J]udicial decisions must generate sufficient support to ensure their execution, awareness of which has doubtlessly shaped the judiciary's decision making profoundly in important periods of history." Croley, 62 U. CHICAGO L.REV. 689 (1995), at 709 (supra note 1). From the vantage point of systems theory, of course, this point is rather doubtful. Teubner, for instance, heavily doubts that judge-made law is dependant on social consensus: Gunther Teubner, Ist das Recht auf Konsens angewiesen? Zur sozialen Akzeptanz des modernen Richterrechts, in: KOMMUNIKATION UND KONSENS IN MODERNEN GESELLSCHAFTEN (Hans-Joachim Giegel ed.), Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1992.

31. Klaus Stern, Das Staatsrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Vol. II: Staatsorgane, Staatsfunktionen, Finanz- und Haushaltsverfassung, Notstandsverfassung, M¸nchen (C.H. Beck) 1980, ßß 32 (pp. 330 et seq.), 36 (pp. 513 et seq.), 44 (pp. 936 et seq.). Stern acknowledges that the old doctrine of separation of powers does not work perfectly any more (especially in modern state characterized by the activities of political parties, see KLAUS STERN, DAS STAATSRECHT DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. I: GRUNDBEGRIFFE UND GRUNDLAGEN DES STAATSRECHTS, STRUKTURPRINZIPIEN DER VERFASSUNG, 2nd edition, München [C.H. Beck] 1984, §23 [pp. 1022 et seq.]), but maintains that it still has a point. The Bundesverfassungsgericht, in Stern's view, is there to secure and reinforce these remains. Cf. as well Klaus Stern, Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit zwischen Recht und Politik, in: KLAUS STERN, DER STAAT DES GRUNDGESETZES. AUSGEWÄHLTE SCHRIFTEN UND VORTRÄGE (Helmut Siekmann ed.), Köln et al. (Heymanns) 1992, pp. 344-369. For the relation between separation of powers and constitutional review in Germany see as well CHRISTOPH GUSY, PARLAMENTARISCHER GESETZGEBER UND BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1985, at 31-35. Gusy identifies three main problematic zones: (1) Is the Bundesverfassungsgericht bound by the law?; (2) the one-sidedness of being bound. The legislature is bound by decisions of the Court; but the Court is not bound by decisions of the legislature (and thus, the distribution of functions is at the one-sided expense of the legislature); (3) the Basic Law as the constitutional basis for judicial decisions of the Court.

32. Rinken, vor Art. 93 in: Alternativkommentar, supra note 2, at para. 85.

33. Klaus Schlaich, Das Bundesverfassungsgericht. Stellung, Verfahren, Entscheidungen, 3rd edition, M¸nchen (C.H. Beck) 1994, at para. 477.

34. Cf. Peter Häberle, Grundprobleme der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit, in: VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT (supra note 12), pp. 1-45, at 12 with further references.

35. ìStreit nach dem Rechtî -- ìStreit um das Rechtî; see Dieter Grimm, Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit im demokratischen System, Juristenzeitung 697 (1976) at footnote 9; Rudolf Dolzer, Verfassungskonkretisierung durch das Bundesverfassungsgericht und durch politische Staatsorgane. Die Geeignetheit des Entscheidungsverfahrens als Kriterium verfassungsgerichtlicher Kompetenz, Heidelberg (R.v. Decker & C.F. M¸ller) 1982, at pp. 27 et seq. Within this approach, Ingwer Ebsen distinguishes between a "naive strand" and a restrictive strand; according to Ebsen, the naive strand ignores the impossibility of deducing concretizations of a legal text from that same legal text: see INGWER EBSEN, supra note 2, at 105 et seq. with further reference.

36. See the so-called status report (Statusbericht) of the then rapporteur, Justice Gerhard Leibholz: Bericht des Berichterstatters an das Plenum des Bundesverfassungsgerichts zur ìStatusî-Frage, in: JAHRBUCH FÜR ÖFFENTLICHES RECHT NEUE FOLGE VOL. 6, 120 et seq. (1957); reprinted in: VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT, supra note 12, pp. 224 et seq. Scholars supporting this view are, inter alia, Ernst Friesenhahn, Die Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in: VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT IN DER GEGENWART (Hermann Mosler ed.), Köln et al. (Heymanns) 1962, pp. 89 et seq.; Ernst Friesenhahn, Wesen und Grenzen der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit, 73 ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR SCHWEIZERISCHES RECHT 129 (1954); Ernst Friesenhahn, Die Funktion der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeitim Gesamtgefüge der Verfassung, in: VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT, supra note 12, pp. 355-366; Dieter Merten, Demokratischer Rechtsstaat und Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit, 1980 DEUTSCHES VERWALTUNGSBLATT 773.

37. Duncan Kennedy, Distributive and Paternalist Motives in Contract and Tort Law, With Special Reference to Compulsory Terms and Unequal Bargaining Power, 41 Md. L.Rev. 563 (1982), at 564-5.

38. BVerfGE 3, 225, 247; 7, 183, 188; 34, 52, 59.

39. Explicitly: Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: ALTERNATIVKOMMENTAR, supra note 2, at para. 86. An alternative and more promising attempt to delimitate competence of state organs is the functional-legal approach. Cf., e.g., ZIMMER, supra note 2.

40. Carl Schmitt, Der Begriff des Politischen, Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1987.

41. Although the conventional story is not the sole and uncontested narrative in German law, the law and politics juxtaposition story is at least the leading narrative. However, it should be noted that even within the most basic and traditional German legal doctrine, evidence to the contrary can be found which suggests a dissolution of the alleged firm boundaries between law and politics, between state and society, and between private and public. It is, for example, generally acknowledged that in a world of scarce resources, it falls to the state to guarantee, in certain aspects, individual freedom (which is technically realized through the objective dimension of fundamental rights [see text infra accompanying notes 57-72]).

42. For a helpful and short overview see Kommers, Constitutional Jurisprudence, supra note 25, at pp. 11-17; David P. Currie, The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, Chicago/ London (The University of Chicago Press) 1994, at pp. 27-30.

43. Kommers, Constitutional Jurisprudence, supra note 25, at 12.

44. This is clearly an over-simplification of historic facts and their legal evaluation. In contrast to what can be read in many treatises, Hitler did not seize power legally. Before the so-called Ermächtigungsgesetz was submitted to the Reichstag, he had the communist representatives arrested and the social-democrats intimidated, so that there is no way of speaking of a legal passing of that statute. See, e.g., KLAUS F. RÖHL, ALLGEMEINE RECHTSLEHRE, Köln et al. (Heymanns) 1994, at pp. 318-321. Nonetheless, Article 79 (3) is perceived as being directed against a "legal revolution": see, e.g., Paul Kirchhof, Die Identität der Verfassung in ihren unabänderlichen Inhalten, in: HANDBUCH DES STAATSRECHT DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. I (Josef Isensee & Paul Kirchhof eds.), Heidelberg (C.F. Müller) 1987, § 19, at paras. 31 et seq.; Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Demokratie als Verfassungsprinzip, in: BÖCKENFÖRDE, STAAT, VERFASSUNG, DEMOKRATIE, supra note 5, pp. 289-378, at 326 (para. 39).

45. Dieter Grimm, Human Rights and Judicial Review in Germany, in: Human Rights and Judicial Review. A Comparative Perspective (David M. Beatty ed.), Dordrecht/ Boston/ London (Martinus Nijhoff) 1994, 267-295, at 270.

46. The classic writing on this is Peter Häberle, Die Wesensgehaltgarantie des Artikel 19 Abs. 2 Grundgesetz. Zugleich ein Beitrag zum institutionellen Verständnis der Grundrechte und zur Lehre vom Gesetzesvorbehalt, 3rd ed., Heidelberg (C.F. M¸ller) 1983.

47. It seemed to many after the war that Hitler had empirically dismissed any positivistic position. One of the leading legal philosophers who performed a shift of paradigms (to speak with Thomas Kuhn) in this context was GUSTAV RADBRUCH (cf. on the one hand his RECHTSPHILOSOPHIE, 3rd ed., 1932, p. 182; on the other hand his Gesetzliches Unrecht und übergesetzliches Recht (1946), in: GUSTAV RADBRUCH, GESAMTAUSGABE (Arthur Kaufmann ed.), VOL. 1, 1987, pp. 83-93). It took some time until this wave left some place for more differenciated approaches. See Ulfrid Neumann, Rechtsphilosophie in Deutschland seit 1945, in: RECHTSWISSENSCHAFT IN DER BONNER REPUBLIK. STUDIEN ZUR WISSENSCHAFTSGESCHICHTE DER JURISPRUDENZ (Dieter Simon ed.), Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1994, pp. 145-187. The national-socialist regime was not built on positivistic conceptions of law. Rather, it was rooted in a peculiar pre-political attitude on the one hand, and on a paradoxical mixture of formal-positivistic laws and open-ended provisions (open especially for ideology) on the other hand. This has been convincingly shown by BERND RÜTHERS, DIE UNBEGRENZTE AUSLEGUNG. ZUM WANDEL DER PRIVATRECHTSORDNUNG IM NATIONALSOZIALISMUS, 4th ed. 1991; recently OLIVER LEPSIUS, DIE GEGENSATZAUFHEBENDE BEGRIFFSBILDUNG. METHODENENTWICKLUNG IN DER WEIMARER REPUBLIK UND IHR VERHÄLTNIS ZUR IDEOLOGISIERUNG DER RECHTSWISSENSCHAFT UNTER DEM NATIONALSOZIALISMUS, München (C.H. Beck) 1994.

48. Grimm, supra note 45, at 273.

49. BVerfGE 39, 1, 38 -- Abortion I; 57, 70, 99 -- Hessen University Law; see also Grimm, supra note 45, at 273.

50. The Court in BVerfGE 65, 1, 41 et seq. created the so-called right to informational self-determination (Recht auf informationelle Selbstbestimmung), ensuring citizens' protection against too much gathering and storage of personal data by the state. Grimm, supra note 45, at 274, provides further examples.

51. Kommers, Constitutional Jurisprudence, supra note 25, at 54. The refernce to Mann is Clarence J. Mann, The Function of Judicial Decision in European Economic Integration, The Hague (Martinus Nijhoff) 1971, at p. 95.

52. BVerfGE 6, 32, 36 f. Although the solution eventually embraced by the Bundesverfassungsgericht enjoyed extensive support -- especially from the influential scholar Günther Dürig, Art. 2 Abs. 1, in: MAUNZ & DÜRIG, KOMMENTAR ZUM GRUNDGESETZ -- it did not go completely uncontested. There were voices favoring a more narrow interpretation, above all Hans Peters, Die freie Entfaltung der Persönlichkeit als Verfassungsziel, in: FESTSCHRIFT FÜR RUDOLF LAUN, 1953, 669-678 (672 et seq.). The Bundesverfassungsgericht expressly rejected Peter's "Persönlichkeitskerntheorie" (theory of the core of one's personality).

53. The broad scope of Article 2 (1) has recently been challenged by Justice Dieter Grimm in his concurring opinion in BVerfGE 80, 137, at 164 et seq. -- Riding in the Woods. See infra note 226.

54. Although not expressly mentioned in the Basic Law, the Court holds that the principle of proportionality possesses constitutional legal status and is rooted in the Rechtsstaatsprinzip (earlier, the Court deduced it from the ìnature of the fundamental rights themselvesî): cf., e.g., BVerfG 19, 342, at 348-9 -- Exemption from Imprisonment: "In der Bundesrepublik Deutschland hat der Grundsatz der Verhältnismäßigkeit verfassungsrechtlichen Rang. Er ergibt sich aus dem Rechtsstaatsprinzip, im Grunde bereits aus dem Wesen der Grundrechte selbst, die als Ausdruck des allgemeinen Freiheitsanspruchs des Bürgers gegenüber dem Staat von der öffentlichen Gewalt jeweils nur soweit beschränkt werden dürfen, als es zum Schutz öffentlicher Interessen unerläßlich ist." See also BVerfGE 55, 159, 165 -- Hunting license. In relation to some special fundamental rights, the Bundesverfassungsgericht has developed a theory of "specialized proportionality" by establishing the so-called gradation theory ("Stufentheorie") for assessing restrictions on occupational choice: see the leading decision in the field of occupational rights, BVerfGE 7, 377 -- Pharmacy Case.

55. The basic concept goes back to Carl Gottlieb Svarez, the principle draftsman of the Allgemeines Preuþisches Landrecht that took effect in 1794; see Carl Gottlieb Svarez, Vorträge ¸ber RecHT UND STAAT (H. Conrad and G. Kleinheyer eds., 1960), pp. 486 et seq.

56. Currie, supra note 42, at 319 (emphasis added).

57. Leading case is the famous 1958 L¸th-decision, BVerfGE 7, 198, 204 et seq. (interdicting the call for a boycott of films by an infamous Nazi director as being incompatible with civil laws). The Bundesverfassungsgericht found that fundamental rights had importance not only as subjective rights of citizens against the state but also as societyís most important values; therefore, they governed the entire legal order, including civil laws regulating the relationship of citizens to each other. A private individual's call for a boycott of the product of another private individual's product was found to be protected by the fundamental right to freedom of expression, and the Bundesverfassungsgericht reversed the lower courts' prohibition of the call for a boycott. On the distinction between subjective rights in contrast to objective principles see Schlink, supra note 19.

58. This understanding is in line not only with tradition but with the functional core of fundamental rights still today; see Bernhard Schlink, Freiheit durch Eingriffsabwehr - Rekonstruktion der klassischen Grundrechtsfunktion, 11 EUROPÄISCHE GRUNDRECHTEZEITSCHRIFT 457 (1984); Rainer Wahl & Johannes Masing, Schutz durch Eingriff, 1991 JURISTENZEITUNG 265.

59. Grimm points to the fact that this objective notion of basic rights is not as new as it might appear to be. This meaning is a re-invention, first adopted in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century, when a conception of fundamental rights as subjective rights would have blocked reforms against the old order of absolutism and feudalism; see Dieter Grimm, supra note 45, at 276. Cf. on the conception of fundamental rights as objective principles as well Bodo Pieroth, Geschichte der Grundrechte, 1984 JURA 568, 574; Rainer Wahl, Rechtliche Wirkungen und Funktionen der Grundrechte im deutschen Konstitutionalismus des 19. Jahrhunderts, 18 DER STAAT 321, 333 (1979); Bernhard Schlink, 14 CARDOZO L. REV. 711, supra note 19, 723 (1993).

60. The issue of protection was most decisive in the two famous abortion decisions: BVerfGE 39, 1; 88, 203.

61. See BVerfGE 33, 303 -- Numerus clausus; Peter Häberle, Neuere Grundrechtsentwicklungen in Deutschland, 4 European Review of Public Law 83-99, at 86 et seq. (1992); Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg & Ulrich R. Haltern, Grundrechte als Leistungsanspr¸che des B¸rgers gegen¸ber dem Staat, 27 Juristische Arbeitsblätter 305 (1995) [cases]; ibid., 333 [theoretical foundations].

62. This has to do with the sharp distinction between private law and public law (the body of law regulating the relationship between the individual and the state and therefore, comprising the fundamental rights). The problem, the so-called ìthird-party effectî (Drittwirkung), appears only after the war since before, during the Empire and the Weimar Republic, fundamental rights (if they were conceded to hace legally binding effect) operated only in the citizenís relationship to the State to protect her freedom against intrusions by the State, but they did not touch the relationship of citizens amongst each other.

63. The German legal debate deals with this phenomenon under the label ìDrittwirkung der Grundrechteî (third-party effect) or ìAusstrahlungswirkungî (radiating effect); see, e.g., Klaus Stern, Das Staatsrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Vol. III/1 (Allgemeine Lehren der Grundrechte), M¸nchen (C.H. Beck) 1988, ß 21, pp. 1509-1595 with further reference; Robert Alexy, Theorie DER GRUNDRECHTE, Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1986, pp. 477 et seq. It was the Lüth-decision (supra note 57) breaking the path for the extension of fundamental rights into this area.

64. See supra note 61; in addition above all Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Die sozialen Grundrechte im Verfassungsgef¸ge, in: Böckenförde, Staat, Verfassung, Demokratie, supra note 5, 146-158.

65. Article 2 (2) provides: ìEveryone has the right to life and to the inviolability of her person.î

66. BVerfGE 39, 1 -- Abortion I; BVerfGE 88, 203 -- Abortion II.

67. Dieter Grimm, supra note 45, at 280.

68. See, e.g., Alexy, supra note 63, at 428 et seq. with further reference. Peter Häberle calls this category status activus processualis: Peter Häberle, VVDStRL 30 (1972), 43, 86 et seq., 121 et seq.; in summary Häberle, supra note 61, at 89-90. He thereby alludes to Georg Jellinekís ìstatus theoryî, categorizing different functions of fundamental rights into different ìstatusesî of state behavior (active / passive etc.). See Georg Jellinek, System DER SUBJEKTIVEN ÖFFENTLICHEN RECHTE, 2nd ed., Tübingen 1905, esp. at 87. For a critique see ALEXY, supra note 63, at 229 et seq., 243 et seq. (arguing that under the changed conditions of modernity and growing state obligations, Jellinek's categories are too crude); KLAUS STERN, VOL. III/1, supra note 63, at 426 et seq.

69. The leading case here is BVerfGE 53, 30, 65 -- M¸lheim-Kärlich (concerning the building and working of a nuclear power plant). See also the dissenting opinion, ibid., at 72 et seq.

70. The protection through organization and procedure has been called a "fundamental rights due process" (Peter Häberle, VVDSTRL 30, 43, at 87), thus hinting at interesting parallels between the German and the American concepts. The concept of protection of fundamental rights through procedure applies not only to the legislature, but also to the executive: BVerfGE 69, 315, 355-6; 73, 280, 296.

71. Social and political theory categorizes this development as being part of the move to procedural rationality; see J¸rgen Habermas, Wie ist Legitimität durch Legalität möglich?, 1987 KRITISCHE JUSTIZ 20; JÜRGEN HABERMAS, FAKTIZITÄT UND GELTUNG. BEITRÄGE ZUR DISKURSTHEORIE DES RECHTS UND DES DEMOKRATISCHEN RECHTSSTAATS, Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1992; NIKLAS LUHMANN, LEGITIMATION DURCH VERFAHREN, 3rd ed, Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1975; KARL-HEINZ LADEUR, POSTMODERNE RECHTSTHEORIE, Berlin (Duncker & Humblot) 1990; Karl-Heinz Ladeur, 'Prozedurale Rationalität' - Steigerung der Legitimationsfähigkeit oder der Leistungsfähigkeit des Rechtssystems?, 7 ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR RECHTSSOZIOLOGIE, 265 (1986). For an introduction see issue 1 of 14 ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR RECHTSSOZIOLOGIE, 1 et seq. (1993).

72. Bernhard Schlink, 14 Cardozo L. Rev. 711 (1993), supra note 19, at 722.

73. For a critique see Ulrich R. Haltern, Franz C. Mayer & Christoph R. Möllers, Wesentlichkeitstheorie und Gerichtsbarkeit -- Zur institutionellen Kritik des Gesetzesvorbehalts, forthcoming in 1997 Die Verwaltung; Brun-Otto Bryde, Die bundesrepublikanische Volksdemokratie als Irrweg der Demokratietheorie, STAATSWISSENSCHAFTEN UND STAATSPRAXIS 305 (1994). The American counterpart is "transmission belt": see JERRY MASHAW, DUE PROCESS IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE, New Haven/London [Yale University Press] 1985; Richard Stewart, The Reformation of American Administrative Law, 88 HARVARD L. REV. 1667 (1975).

74. This is not to say that I am heading for monocausality. Iím not saying that the Bundesverfassungsgericht has created the principle of proportionality or the objective dimension of fundamental rights in order to expand its powers. Of course, there are many virtues imbedded in these methods (for example, the principle of proportionality allows for a very differenciated standard of scrutiny; the objective dimension of fundamental rightsallows for social democracy in a welfare state [as, romantically, envisaged in article 28 of the Basic Law]; etc.). And naturally, neither do I intend to call into question the Court's good faith. However, it is remarkable that all these instruments, without exception, work out in favor of additional competence and power for the Bundesverfassungsgericht.

75. Only constitutional complaints (ìVerfassungsbeschwerdenî) grant individuals access to the Court. Still: out of 56,812 cases decided between 1951 and 1987, 51,910 were constitutional complaints. But then again consider that the Court grants full dress review to barely more than 1 percent of all complaints. They make up about 55 percent of the Courtís published decisions. 95 percent of all complaints are disposed of by three-judge committees. See KOMMERS, CONSTITUTIONAL JURISPRUDENCE, supra note 25, at 12-17.

76. Christine Landfried, Constitutional Review and Legislation in the Federal Republic of Germany, in Constitutional Review and Legislation. An International Comparison (Christine Landfried ed.), Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1988, 147, at 164.

77. The decision to deploy German armed forces ëout of areaí, BVerfGE 90, 286. The political manoeuvre, however, was quite transparent, and the F.D.P. had to accept an angered reaction from Justices Böckenförde and Kruis, who in their dissenting opinion (at BVerfGE 90, 286, at 390-4) intended to dismiss their claim as inadmissable. The whole incident was politically imprudent and, on the whole, embarrassing. This anecdote may demonstrate that it is not necessarily the Court scraping up as much power as possible, but that rather the political system itself deliberately shifts decisionmaking power to Karlsruhe.

78. Christine Landfried , Bundesverfassungsgericht und Gesetzgeber, supra note 11, at 47 et seq., 125 et seq.; Landfried, Constitutional Review, supra note 76, 157-161. Similarly: Jürgen Jekewitz, Bundesverfassungsgericht und Gesetzgeber. Zu den Vorwirkungen von Existenz und Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts in den Bereich der Gesetzgebung, 19 DER STAAT 354 (1980); DOPATKA, supra note 2, at 293. Further references by Rinken, ALTERNATIV-KOMMENTAR, supra note 2, para. 61 note 74.

79. Ernst Benda, Die Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in: VerfasSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT IN WESTEUROPA, VOL. 1 (Christian Starck & Albrecht Weber eds.), Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1986, 121-148, at 141.

80. Ralf Dreier, Einleitung, in: Probleme der Verfassungsinterpretation (Ralf Dreier & Friedrich Schwegmann eds.), Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1976, 13, at 37 et seq.; Rinken, Alternativ-Kommentar, supra note 2, at para. 61.

81. Even elections may cause too much disturbance of elite cartel procedure. This demonstrates the inherent dangers of consociationalism. Take, for example, paridad and alternaciòn in Columbia: during a period of "controlled democracy" which lastet for 16 years, the efficacy of the right to vote was severly restricted. See Arend Lijphart, Consociational Democracy, XXI WORLD POLITICS 207 (1969), at 214.

82. For deeper insights into consociational democracy see, for example, Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies. A Comparative Exploration, New Haven/ London (Yale University Press] 1977. For a critical appraisal see Brian Barry, The Consociational Model and its Dangers, in: BRIAN BARRY, DEMOCRACY AND POWER. ESSAYS IN POLITICAL THEORY 1, Oxford [Oxford University Press] 1991, 136; Brian Barry, Political Accommodation and Consociational Democracy, in: BRIAN BARRY, ibid., 100. It is partly even argued that consociational democracy, in order to function properly, needs a plebiscitary corrective: Heidrun Abromeit, Mehrheitsprinzip und Föderalismus, in AN DEN GRENZEN DER MEHRHEITSDEMOKRATIE: POLITIK UND SOZIOLOGIE DER MEHRHEITSREGEL (Bernd Guggenberger & Claus Offe eds.), Opladen (Westdeutscher Verlag) 1984, p. 132. For an extension of the consociational model to intergovernmentalism, see J.H.H. Weiler, Ulrich R. Haltern & Franz C. Mayer, European Democracy amd Its Critique, 18 WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS 4 (1995), at 28-32.

83. See in extenso David Held, Models of Democracy, Stanford (Stanford University Press) 1987.

84. See Note: Civic Republican Administrative Theory: Bureaucrats as Deliberative Democrats, 107 Harvard L.Rev. 1401 (1994) with many further references.

85. March & Olsen, DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE, supra note 15, at 141-181.

86. As for the rest of my section on the ambiguity of accountability, I heavily draw on March & Olsen, Democratic Governance, supra note 15. For a psychological evaluation of accountability see P.E. Tetlock, The Impact of Accountability on Judgment and Choice: Toward a Social Contingency Model, 25 Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 331 (1992).

87. Four illustrations: (1) Fundamental attribution error. Whereas people tended to see events as caused by the intentions and dispositions of individuals rather than by situational factors, this tendency has been reduced by making them personally accountable for their judgments. (2) Primacy effect. Individuals form judgments on the basis of early information and are slow in revising those judgments even if there is disconfirming evidence to the contrary. Accountability reduces this effect. (3) Confidence. Individuals tend to have greater confidence in the correctness of their own judgments than is warranted. Accountability reduces this. (4) Dilution effects. Individuals who are held accountable pay more attention to factors irrelevant to the decision than individuals who are not held accountable. (1) - (3) are usually seen as positive, (4) as negative. However, the dilution effect may lead, e.g., to the loss of confidence.

88. Four illustrations: (1) Favoring status quo. Individuals are more likely to choose an alternative if it is framed as maintaining the status quo -- being accountable increases this inclination. (2) Ambiguity and risk aversion. Individuals prefer alternatives with clearly anticipated consequences -- accountability accentuates this. (3) Social conformity. Individuals tend to adopt positions that are acceptable to others -- this is accentuated in the case of accountability. (4) Uncooperativeness. Individuals weigh possible gains from successful cooperation against potential losses from unsuccessful cooperation. To be held accountable focuses on the latter. All four examples are neither positive nor negative in itself. They explain, though, why political decision-makers appear to favor status quo over change.

89. This means that it reduces flexibility with respect to reconsidering choices once made and leads to focus on gathering information in support of the decision. Two illustrations: (1) Rationalization and self-confirmation. Individuals organize their experience and justifications to confirm the correctness of their decision. They claim responsibility for positive and deny responsibility for a negative outcome. If they have to acknowledge the latter, they deny the negative implications of the outcome. (2) Escalating commitment. Individuals increase commitment to once generated justifications. Again, both is not inherently bad, but is has to be taken into consideration.

90. This is a likely concept in a world where human choices and actions are viewed as being decisive to the course of history -- accountability for historical outcomes.

91. An idea attached to the conception of proper processes rather than results.

92. March and Olsen compare this to parental tales about Santa Claus: Assertions of accountability are a kind of mythology that allows acknowledgement of the faith. Niklas Luhmann would soberly call it a strategy to reduce complexity.

93. And therefore it is an important addition to the Kantian line of defense against rational choice and Arrowís theorem, assumed, e.g., by Richard H. Pildes & Elizabeth S. Anderson, Slinging Arrows at Democracy: Social Choice Theory, Value Pluralism, and Democratic Politics, 90 COLUMB. L.REV. 2121 (1990).

94. Luhmann, Social Systems, supra note 21, at p. 58.

95. Balkin, Populism and Progessivism, supra note 4, at 1943-4.

96. Ibid., at 1945-6.

97. Ibid., at 1945.

98. Ibid. (emphasis in original).

99. Ibid., at 1946.

100. Ibid., at 1947.

101. March & Olsen, Democratic Governance, supra note 15, at 147. At the same time, however, they note that the end of the twentieth century has ìwitnessed a resurgence of justifications based on the passions of religious fervor and deeply felt loyalties to national, ethnic, and gender groups." They continue: "Demagogues, television, patriotism, and group loyalties have all been cast as democratic villains, with citizens normally seen as victims. The pervasive presence of unenlightened citizens, perverted accounts, and misinformed public opinion are old observations. They encourage a portrayal of the process of justification as distorted, betrayed, or deformed, thus undermining confidence in democracy." (Ibid.)

102. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1947.

103. Ibid. It is at this point that proponents of the revised story heavily borrow from the conventional story. Law is seen as expertise, expertise as knowledge, and knowledge as innocent and in the service of immaculate truth. Let us assume that the conventional story really believes in the myth of immaculate truth -- the revised story certainly does not. Law, expertise, knowledge, and, eventually, truth perform the function of instilling the revised discourse with legitimacy, and -- down to earth -- attach more weight to one's own political opinion. The division of labor between expertise and politics breaks down -- a case of "innocence lost". See also the account given by JAMES G. MARCH & JOHAN P. OLSEN, REDISCOVERING INSTITUTIONS: THE ORGANIZATIONAL BASIS OF POLITICS, New York (The Free Press) 1989, at pp. 30-2. March and Olsen argue that it may well be possible for experts to give naively 'unpolitical' advise. But they enter a game of political manoeuver, with other players being extremely suspicious and adroit. The consequences are two-fold: experts start to see themselves as "someone who has influence over policy", and, since they are regarded as such, trust in them as expert individuals as well as trust in the institution of expertise is undermined. The implications: "Policy makers seek competence among experts, but competence alone is unlikely to be enough. Expertise needs to be reliable, not in the sense of being indistinguishable from advocacy, but in the sense of having a distribution of values and styles among competent experts that encourages a pairing of competent spcialists with policy amkers who trust them." Ibid., at p. 32.

104. This is Heidrun Abromeitís idea of a plebiscitary corrective in a consociational democracy; see Abromeit, supra note 82.

105. Richard D. Parker, Here, the People Rule: A Constitutional Populist Manifesto, Cambridge (Mass.) (Harvard University Press) 1994. Jack Balkin criticises Parkerís insufficient consideration of the ìprivate aspect of populist sensibility": Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1946 in footnote 29.

106. See, e.g., Walter Schmitt Glaeser, Die grundrechtliche Freiheit des B¸rgers zur Mitwirkung an der Willensbildung, in: Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Vol. II: Demokratische Willensbildung - Die Staatsorgane des Bundes (Josef Isensee & Paul Kirchhof eds.), Heidelberg (C.F. M¸ller) 1987, ß 31, pp. 49-71.

107. Especially when Hindenburg was elected in the 1925 presidential elections, with a slight majority. Hindenburg was a legendary, glorified (although militarily defeated and politically poorly educated) imperial field marshal. Moreover, he was filled with disdain for republican and civilian politics.

108. In addition, see Arts. 43 (1) and (2); 18; 73 (3); 76 (1); 73 (1); 73 (2); 74 (3); 73 (4) of the Weimar Constitution. Cf. also Peter Krause, Verfassungsrechtliche Möglichkeiten unmittelbarer Demokratie, in: Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Vol. II, supra note 106, ß 39, pp. 313-337, at para. 7.

109. I follow the historian Karl Dietrich Bracher who accuses all of these explanations of one-sidedness and advocates a differenciated picture. Karl Dietrich Bracher, The Dissolution of the First German Democracy, in: Karl Dietrich Bracher, Turning Points in Modern Times: Essays in German and European History, Cambridge (Mass.)/ London (Harvard University Press) 1995, 99, at 102.

110. Goebbels held his 1944 Sportpalast speech, which was broadcasted and since then has served as somewhat of an epitome of German fanatism for fascism and at the same time of the power of the national-socialists' seduction, in front of a selected crowd, i.e. party members of the NSDAP. However, I do not claim that the whole German People was profoundly anti-democratic or totalitarian or national-socialist; my point is that the post-war drafters of the Basic Law (a political elite mainly made up of members of the Resistance or emigrated democrats) must have had this image of the German people. Events like the Sportpalast meeting doubtlessly have left their traces.

111. Bracher, Dissolution, supra note 109, at 99.

112. Karl Dietrich Bracher, The Germans and Their Constitutions and Institutions, in: Karl Dietrich Bracher, Turning Points in Modern Times, supra note 109, p. 255, at 265.

113. Krause, supra note 108, at para. 18, with further reference. The reasoning takes recourse to the construction of ëunconstitutional constitutional lawí, see supra note 24.

114. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1947.

115. GeorG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL, GRUNDLINIEN DER PHILOSOPHIE DES RECHTS ODER NATURRECHT UND STAATSWISSENSCHAFT IM GRUNDRISSE, 1821, §§ 257 et seq. ("Der Staat ist die Wirklichkeit der sittlichen Idee -- der sittliche Geist, als der offenbare, sich selbst deutliche, substantielle Wille, der sich denkt und weiß und das, was er weiß und insofern er es weiß, vollführt."). Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Werke Vol. 7, Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1986, pp. 398 et seq.

116. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1947.

117. March & Olsen, Democratic Governance, supra note 15, at 55. March and Olsen view this characteristic as one of three primary concerns of democratic construction of identities. The first is an instrumental concern, dealing with a democracy as a set of procedures for making collective decisions. The second is the mentioned moral concern, and the third is a transformative concern, conceiving of democracy as an arena for self-reflection and re-definition of individuals, institutions, and communities.

118. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1989.

119. Cf. the text supra as to knowledge and expertise.

120. I am deliberately applying the term ìrights talkî, aware of the fact that Professor Glendon seems to reserve it for the American political discourse and re-defines it as an absolute rights talk (Mary Ann Glendon, Rights Talk. The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, New York et al. [Maxwell, Free Press] 1991). I am not so sure about her claims. First, it seems to me that in the United States, too, the necessity of balancing rights is common ground, and that Justice Black's absolutist theory is surely not on the edge of modern constitutional theory (but for a different reading of Black see, e.g., Pildes & Anderson, 90 COLUMBIA L.REV. 2121 (1990), supra note 93, at 2155-2158. For a general critique of balancing in constitutional law cases: Alexander Aleinikoff, Constitutional Law in the Age of Balancing, 96 YALE L.J. 943 (1987), esp. at 973-995; Richard H. Pildes, Avoiding Balancing: The Role of Exclusionary Reasons in Constitutional Law, 45 HASTINGS L.J. 711 (1994). Cf. also Thomas Haskell, The Curious Persistence of Rights Talk in the Age of Interpretation, 74 J.AM. HIST. 984 (1987).). Second, I am not convinced that the difference between the United States on the one hand, and Europe on the other hand, are as great as Glendon suggests (e.g. at pp. 39-40; 45 [quoting John Updike]; 61-75). It appears, while she underestimates the growing influence and power of movements to the contrary in the United States (see, just for a start, MICHAEL WALZER, SPHERES OF JUSTICE. A DEFENSE OF PLURALISM AND EQUALITY, Basic Books 1983; MICHAEL J. SANDEL, LIBERALISM AND THE LIMITS OF JUSTICE, Cambridge University Press 1982), she overstates the virtues of the European, mainly the German approach. This becomes most evident in her clearly biased and purified reading of the first abortion decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court in 1975 (BVerfGE 39, 1); pp. 63-66. I believe, on the contrary, that rights talk on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean is in fact comparable. It is not so much the notion -- or more precisely: the illusion -- of absoluteness that distinguishes the declaration of a right from the declaration of some path of policy to follow; it is more the fact that a right is characterized by its inherent subjectivity, its being attributable, and sometimes even its unalienability. After all, in the present context of my line of argument, it hardly makes a difference whether or not right are conceived as being absolute. What is necessary and sufficient here is that the mere rhetoric of rights, as of course introduced by the Basic Law and as reinforced and developed by the Bundesverfassungsgericht, has made it almost impossible to add a critical footnote with regard to the extent of judicial review through the Federal Constitutional Court. In addition, the rights talk is practically a one-way-street: once fundamental rights are acknowledged and attributed, they become quasi irreversible. Who would be so bold as to take away constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights from the citizens? The only realistically conceivable way is to narrow the scope of a right by cautiously emphasizing its limitations; but this is a complicated, sensitive and, above all, long story.

121. This is a subject which today is no less sensitive than it was during the fifties and sixties. The events surrounding the post-humous detection of close contacts between the extreme right political party ìDeutsche Volks-Unionî and the renowned German constitutional scholar and ex-minister Theodor Maunz may serve as a telling example. See Michael Stolleis, Theodor Maunz - Ein Staatsrechtslehrerleben, in: MICHAEL STOLLEIS, RECHT IM UNRECHT. STUDIEN ZUR RECHTSGESCHICHTE DES NATIONALSOZIALISMUS, Frankfurt/M. (Suhrkamp) 1994, 306-317 (this article has appeared before in the daily newspaper FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG [21 December, 1993] and in 26 KRITISCHE JUSTIZ 393 [1993] and appears now in an extended version, commenting on reactions from Stolleis's fellow Staatsrechtslehrer). On the sensitivity of the issue see also Michael Stolleis, Im Bauch des Leviathan: Staatsrechtslehre im Nationalsozialismus, in: MICHAEL STOLLEIS, in this note, pp. 126-146, at 127: "To talk about national-socialist constitutional law or the share of individual professors was, after 1950, regarded as basically being 'tactless'."

122. These exceptions were C. Schmitt, R. Höhn, E.R. Huber, and O. Koellreutter. Others who had been supportive of Nazism took up their job after some time, such as F. Berber, H.E. Feine, E. Forsthoff, H. Gerber, W. Hamel, J. Heckel, H. Helfritz, H. Herrfahrdt, K.G. Hugelmann, H.P. Ipsen, F.W. Jerusalem, A. Köttgen, H. Krüger, G. Küchenhoff, Th. Maunz, E. Menzel, U. Scheuner, W. Schoenborn, C.H. Ule, and others. See Michael Stolleis, Verwaltungsrechtswissenschaft in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in: RECHTSWISSENSCHAFT IN DER BONNER REPUBLIK. STUDIEN ZUR WISSENSCHAFTSGESCHICHTE DER JURISPRUDENZ (Dieter Simon ed.), Frankfurt/M. [Suhrkamp] 1994, 227-258, at p. 231, footnotes 17 and 18.

123. W. Abendroth, A. Arndt, H.L. Brill, M. Drath.

124. W. Apelt, G. Ansch¸tz, W. Jellinek, R.v. Laun, R. Thoma, H. Triepel, E. Friesenhahn, H. Peters, R. Smend. Only the last three remained in office for a considerable time, the others retired relatively soon. See Michael Stolleis, ibid., at p. 231 with footnotes 19, 20, and 21.

125. Werner Billing, Das Problem der Richterwahl zum Bundesverfassungsgericht, Berlin 1969, at pp. 222-3; Bryde, Verfassungsentwicklung, supra note 24, at p. 153 with further reference.

126. Donald P. Kommers, Judicial Politics in West Germany. A Study of the Federal Constitutional Court, Beverly Hills/ London (Sage Publications) 1976, at p. 123. Am I alone in my sensibility that it is, to say the least, peculiar that a non-German lawyer digs up these things? Surely, the American academic environment and its orientation to realism provided more incentives than the subjectless German law discourse to analyse the biographical background of judges, professors, and justices. However, can we not be led to believe that at least part of it is the academia's reluctance to deal with its own past?

127. Quoted after Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: Alternativ-Kommentar, supra note 2, at para. 37.

128. This, of course, is only the official story. Schmitt had been a brilliant intellectual with a spell-binding writing-style; even after the war, many of his former pupils and even politicians visited him at his house in the Sauerland to ask for his advice. Many justified their personal ties with Schmitt through arguments such as "What he did was one thing; what he thought and wrote another."; "He did not believe in national-socialism (after all, he was a devout catholic), he was just weak and opportunistic, and that is human". This line of argument, of course, does not hold. Professor Weiler clearly establishes the nexus between thought and deed and points to Schmitt's writings as preparing for 'ethnic cleansing': J.H.H. Weiler, The State 'über alles': Demos, Telos, and the German Maastricht Decision, HARVARD JEAN MONNET WORKING PAPER 6/95, pp. 40-1.

129. Wendenburg, supra note 12, shares this thought, on p. 238.

130. To be sure, Professor Balkin is clearly critical of progressivism (of Sunsteinian or Meiklejohnian kind). He is, however, one of the very few to conceptualize progressivism and to articulate its beliefs without clothing it in concealing language -- therefore ìBalkinís progressivismî.

131. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1955.

132. Ibid., at 1947.

133. I might add that this public sphere has nothing to do with Habermas' public sphere (e.g. Jürgen Habermas, Towards a Communication-Concept of Rational Collective Will-Formation: A Thought Experiment, 2 RATIO JURIS 144 [1989]; Jürgen Habermas, Further Reflections on the Public Sphere, in HABERMAS AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE (Craig Calhoun ed.), 421-61, Cambridge (Mass.) (MIT Press) 1992) or with March and Olsen's notion of public openness (Öffentlichkeit) (MARCH & OLSEN, DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE, supra note 15, inter alia at p. 147).

134. Exclusion from the political process means more than just subjection to constitutional court decisions. The vacuum left through the forced vanishing of the people has been filled by political parties, another factor (besides the Bundesverfassungsgericht) that contributes to an ossified political process and, eventually, to the malaise many Germans feel about their political and party system. It may go well under the heading of ëhistoryí to provide an example of recent German experience, the unification process. The decisive impetus for the change in 1989 emerged directly from the People itself, and the citizens were so energised, eager, and engaged that a new dimension of democratic participation seemed in reach. However, after a short time, popular passion had been sucked into the West German party system, depriving active citizens of power, only to later disillusion them more and more. The technical procedure of the unification may serve as a symbol for the whole process. From the very beginning, it started by weakening the People. Mr. Conradi, Member of Parliament, formulated in front of the Bundestag on September 20, 1990: "But the German unification, unfortunately, has not become the hour of Parliament, but of the executive branch. It is not a good omen that the German unification, having started with the words 'We are the People!', now begins with the weakening of the representative body of the People." (my translation). Stenographic Protocoll of the 226th Session of the 11th German Bundestag on Sept. 20, 1990, p. 17892. ERNST GOTTFRIED MAHRENHOLZ, DIE VERFASSUNG UND DAS VOLK, München 1992, gives a critical but never one-dimensional account of this process. Mahrenholz, Justice at the Bundesverfassungsgericht, hints at the role of the political parties, calls Germany a state in which interference of the people is prohibited, except for elections of the Bundestag (ibid., at 42), and concludes that, unless the debates about a new constitution are opened to the public, the "political class itself would be the 'people' of the Constitution" (ibid., at 51). The unification process and the way the grassroot-democratic impetus was handled is described in a study with the telling title "The Round-Table, or, Where remained the People?": UWE THAYSEN, DER RUNDE TISCH, ODER, WO BLIEB DAS VOLK?. DER WEG DER DDR IN DIE DEMOKRATIE, Opladen (Westdeutscher Verlag) 1990. The unification process has never generated any convocation or constituent assembly, and not even has there been careful and extended deliberation in Parliament. The reason for this is that the documents containing the details of the unification were presented to the Bundestag as (international) treaties after negotiations, leaving only a 'yes' or 'no' vote for the representatives (similar to the US-American fast track procedure). All the decisions have been determined by the negotiators -- a small group of primarily western party leaders under the leadership of Wolfgang Schäuble --, and Parliament was not involved in the process of drafting and debate. (See, inter alia, Peter E. Quint, Constitution-Making by Treaty in German Unification: A Comment on Arato, Elster, Preuss, and Richards, 14 CARDOZO L. REV. 691 (1993).) The Bundesverfassungsgericht gave its placet to this procedure. In other words, the Court contents itself with the fact that a decision that many felt should have been made by the People itself was not even made by the elected representatives but by a small group from the executive branch. It seems to me that the unification process should have been immediate cause for serious deliberation about proposals for constitutional reform. Instead, suggestions in relation to the introduction of elements of direct democracy, or to a ratification of the amendments by popular referendum have been bluntly discarded. (See in extenso DER SOUVERÄN AUF DER NEBENBÜHNE. ESSAYS UND ZWISCHENRUFE ZUR DEUTSCHEN VERFASSUNGSDISKUSSION (Bernd Guggenberger & Andreas Meier eds.), Opladen (Westdeutscher Verlag) 1994.) All of this confirms my claim that the initial distrust vis-à-vis the German People as the ultimate sovereign still has strong impact on German constitutional theory and reality.

135. See already text at note 1. It is, incidentally, a telling detail about the nature and the state of German constitutional legal doctrine (and, of course, a helpful supplement of the conventional storyís immaculate truth discourse) that it was not until about fifteen years ago that scholars began to reluctantly acknowledge the necessity of a functional approach to constitutional law. (Prominent writings in favor of the so-called functional-legal approach are: Konrad Hesse, Funktionelle Grenzen der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit, in: RECHT ALS PROZESS UND GEFÜGE. FESTSCHRIFT FÜR HANS HUBER ZUM 80. GEBURTSTAG, Bern [Stämpfli & Cie] 1981, 261-272; Hans-Peter Schneider, Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit und Gewaltenteilung. Zur Funktionsgerechtigkeit von Kontrollmaßstäben und Kontrolldichte verfassungsgerichtlicher Entscheidung, 1980 NEUE JURISTISCHE WOCHENSCHRIFT 2103; GUNNAR FOLKE SCHUPPERT, FUNKTIONELL-RECHTLICHE GRENZEN DER VERFASSUNGSINTERPRETATION, Königstein/Ts. [Athenäum] 1980; Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: ALTERNATIV-KOMMENTAR, supra note 2; ZIMMER, supra note 2, esp. at pp. 68 et seq. For the initial reluctance to desert a purely normative approach see above all Klaus Schlaich, Die Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit im Gefüge der Staatsfunktionen, in: VERÖFFENTLICHUNGEN DER VEREINIGUNG DER DEUTSCHEN STAATSRECHTSLEHRER, issue 39, Berlin/New York [de Gruyter] 1981, pp. 99-146; more moderately SCHLAICH, DAS BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, supra note 33, at paras. 483 et seq.; WERNER HEUN, FUNKTIONELL-RECHTLICHE SCHRANKEN DER VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT. REICHWEITE UND GRENZEN EINER DOGMATISCHEN ARGUMENTATIONSFIGUR, Baden-Baden [Nomos] 1992.) While throughout United States doctrine, it is practically inconceivable to waste a word on the necessity of a functional evaluation of the competence and delimitations of state organs (all major works on judicial review, for example, make use of primarily functional considerations without any fuss at all; see only BURT, THE CONSTITUTION IN CONFLICT, supra note 1; ELY, DEMOCRACY AND DISTRUST, supra note 1; BICKEL, THE LEAST DENGEROUS BRANCH, supra note 1; PERRY, THE CONSTITUTION, THE COURTS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS, supra note 1), there is still the need to extensively justify such an approach in Germany. The concept -- which in Germany is called "functional-legal approach" -- is barely different from the American one. Rooted within the principle of separation of powers it tries to limit the principally all-embracing grip of constitutional review by starting out from the thesis that "the constitutional court has to remain within the functions attributed to it by the constitution." (Hesse, Funktionelle Grenzen, supra note 135, at p. 262 [emphasis added]). The basic idea is that differently structured state organs should perform those functions that seem to be most adequate in relation to their structure, and that, at the same time, the structure should be aligned with state tasks. While this is a useful approach already because it finally drops the immature clinging to nothing but the letter of the law instead of taking account of aims, functions, and, above all, consequences, the scope of this approach is still unclear in Germany. While Konrad Hesse, for instance, talks about the organs' duty to "back up and help in cases another organ is not able or willing to fully perform its tasks" (ibid., at 265-6), Alfred Rinken goes much further by postulating that the organ being structurally closest to the decision in question should be legitimized to make it. (Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: ALTERNATIV-KOMMENTAR, supra note 2, para. 99.) Werner Heun has correctly observed that the functional-legal approach does not content itself with a redefinition of structural relationships between state organs but that it reaches far into the sphere of interpretation of constitutional provisions and fundamental rights (FUNKTIONELL-RECHTLICHE SCHRANKEN DER VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT, supra note 135, at 15). Most importantly, it gives up the self-confinement of interpretation to what for long has been perceived as being the basic structure of legal norms, namely (in the words of systems theory) their conditional programming. (See, e.g., NIKLAS LUHMANN, RECHTSSOZIOLOGIE, 3rd ed., Opladen [Westdeutscher Verlag] 1987, pp. 227 et seq.; NIKLAS LUHMANN, RECHTSSYSTEM UND RECHTSDOGMATIK, Stuttgart et al. [Kohlhammer] 1974; NIKLAS LUHMANN, DAS RECHT DER GESELLSCHAFT, Frankfurt/M. [Suhrkamp] 1993, pp. 195 et seq.) After all, the functional-legal approach leaves much room for innovative and constructive reform. This may cause problems (which are clearly set out by HEUN, op. cit.), but these are not insurmountable.

136. To give some examples: Hans-Peter Schneider (Eigenart und Funktionen der Grundrechte im demokratischen Verfassungsstaat, in: Grundrechte als Fundament der Demokratie (Joachim Perels ed.), Frankfurt/M. [Suhrkamp] 1979, pp. 11-49), commonly perceived as being close to the social-democrats, establishes a variety of fundamental rights functions one of which is the democratic one. He sees the principle of democracy -- as a legal term governing the Basic Law -- rooted in Articles 20 and 21 of the Basic Law and the central idea of the "self-determination of the people". This term is -- according to Schneider -- defined through four core elements: (1) autonomous self-determination of the "whole people" through each individual, and not through special privileged persons, groups, bureaucrats or else elites; (2) the maximum amount of the individual's real freedom as the expression of her human dignity (here lies, at the same time, the emancipatory claim of this notion of self-determination, and its idea of rationalizing and limiting effect on governance); (3) free and fair participation of all in the shaping of the polity through the political process; and (4) openness of the development of society as a whole with the permanent aim of creating human, social, just and free living-conditions (ibid., at 28-9). Schneider does not take the trouble of seperating one from the other; he immediately integrates fundamental rights into the concept of democracy, assigning them the role of the "functional basis of democracy as such" (ibid., at 29) and later outlining a sketch of fundamental rights as a "democratic model of action for citizens and for the State" (ibid., at 42-5). Another example is Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, formerly Justice at the Bundesverfassungsgericht, a catholic liberal who appears to be a great admirer of Carl Schmitt's writings in constitutional law and theory. In his excellent article about democracy as a constitutional principle (Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Demokratie als Verfassungsprinzip; this article originally appeared in HANDBUCH DES STAATSRECHTS DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. I [Josef Isensee & Paul Kirchhof eds.], supra note 44, pp. 887-950. A slightly edited and extended version appeared in ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, STAAT, VERFASSUNG, DEMOKRATIE, supra note 5. I will cite to the latter version which includes more up-to-date reference), Böckenförde makes a Rousseaunian move by arguing that under a democratic regime, individual liberty and self-determination play a role in mediated form. This mediation takes place through a metamorphosis of individual-autonomous liberty first to democratic freedom of participation, and then to collective-autonomous freedom (ibid., at 323-6). Again, we observe this peculiar striving for establishing some harmony between democracy and fundamental rights resp. the sphere of freedom the latter are designed to protect. The tension between majority rule and individual rights is not further explored, at least not in an ambitious way. (In this context, I feel obliged to direct the reader's attention to some remarkable exceptions. The first is an illuminating article by Professor Isensee: Josef Isensee, Grundrechte und Demokratie. Die polare Legitimation im grundgesetzlichen Gemeinwesen, 20 DER STAAT 161 (1981). Surrounded by the silence of the rest of German constitutional thought at the beginning of the eighties, Isensee elaborately and elegantly works out the "basic constitutional tension" between democracy and fundamental rights without blending one into the other. At present, German scholarship seems at the edge of waking up from the sleep of the Sleeping Beauty, and some publications have appeared that look beyond the boundaries both of pure black letter law and national boundaries, finally taking into account developments in constitutional thought and theory abroad and giving up the embarrassing division of constitutional law and constitutional theory [the latter has been widely perceived as being a subject for political scientists]. One is a collection of articles edited by Professor Preuß in 1994: ZUM BEGRIFF DER VERFASSUNG. DIE ORDNUNG DES POLITISCHEN (Ulrich K. Preuß ed.), Frankfurt/Main (Fischer) 1994. Another one is: DEMOKRATIE, VERFASSUNG UND NATION. DIE POLITISCHE INTEGRATION MODERNER GESELLSCHAFTEN (Jürgen Gebhardt & Rainer Schmalz-Bruns eds.), Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1993. In addition, it seems that the American discussion about constitutionalism, liberalism, republicanism and communitarianism has, after all, found an appropriate echo in Germany, even in Germany's legal community: see, e.g., GEMEINSCHAFT UND GERECHTIGKEIT (Micha Brumlik & Hauke Brunkhorst eds.), Frankfurt/Main (Fischer) 1993; AUF DER SUCHE NACH DER GERECHTEN GESELLSCHAFT (Günter Frankenberg ed.), Frankfurt/Main (Fischer) 1994; BÜRGERGESELLSCHAFT, RECHT UND DEMOKRATIE (Bert van den Brink & Willem van Reijen eds.), Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1995. Finally, there is no doubt that the intense and heated debate about the European Union, the Maastricht Treaty and the democratic deficit in the Union has contributed -- and will further contribute -- to a clarification of Germany's understanding of democracy. See, e.g., J.H.H. Weiler, Ulrich R. Haltern & Franz C. Mayer, European Democracy and Its Critique, 18 WEST EUROPEAN POLITICS 4 (1995) (special issue on THE CRISIS OF REPRESENTATION IN EUROPE, Jack Hayward ed.); J.H.H. Weiler, The State 'über alles', in: FESTSCHRIFT FÜR ULRICH EVERLING (Ole Due, Marcus Lutter & Jürgen Schwarze eds.), Baden-Baden [Nomos] 1995, pp. 1651 et seq.; Bryde, Die bundesrepublikanische Volksdemokratie als Irrweg der Demokratietheorie, supra note 73. Of course, German constitutional scholars and practitioners are not blind -- they discover the tension but do not consequently follow up on it. See, among others, ALEXY, supra note 63, at p. 407; HELMUT STEINBERGER, KONZEPTION UND GRENZEN FREIHEITLICHER DEMOKRATIE, Berlin et al. [Springer] 1974, at pp. 196 et seq.; BVerfGE 56, 54, at 81. Sometimes, constitutional scholars notice a difference between the concepts of liberty with respect to democracy on the one hand, and fundamental rights on the other hand. See, e.g., Christian Starck, Grundrechtliche und demokratische Freiheitsidee, in: HANDBUCH DES STAATSRECHTS DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, VOL. II, supra note 106, § 29, pp. 3-27). Either substantial material values are blended into the democratic concept which is thereby fundamentally re-defined, or (more rarely) democracy is seen as a system of governance providing a system of decisionmaking. Most of all, however, we will find an approach seemingly depicting the complexity of the relation between democracy and fundamental rights, trying to cover every possible inter-dependency; but at a closer look, one discovers how edges are smoothed and contradictions are reconciled, mostly through a conjuring trick: textualism and formal argument. Fundamental rights, it is argued, are directly part of the system of governance erected by the Basic Law, not only boundary posts of some in principle unrestricted majority rule (see, e.g., Gunnar Folke Schuppert, Grundrechte und Demokratie, 1985 EUROPÄISCHE GRUNDRECHTE-ZEITSCHRIFT 525, at 527). Thus, a simple but ingenious way is found to avoid a deep analysis of the tension problem. Of course, I disagree because this is a too easy way out. In addition, the Bundesverfassungsgericht and constitutional scholars do not take the words of the Basic Law at face value when it comes to other questions; why do they here?

137. An overview over the wide array of possible answers to the question ìWhy majoritarianism?î is provided by Elaine Spitz, Majority Rule, Chatham (NJ) (Chatham House Publ.) 1984, esp. Chapters 8 et seq.

138. This correlation is only weakened, not invalidated by (a) differences in intensity of preferences, or (b) the effect of the Condorcet paradox of cyclical majorities. See Jon Elster, Majority Rule and Individual Rights, in On HUMAN RIGHTS: THE OXFORD AMNESTY LECTURES 1993 (Stepehen Shute & Susan Hurley eds.), New York (Basic Books) 1993, 175, at 178. Again, it is worth a telling side-remark that German legal writing has produced as good as nothing on the paradox that simple majority rule is sometimes unable to produce determinate and meaningful results. The Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow, in the early fifties, proved that under certain conditions, any proposed alternative could be beaten by some other alternative by a majority of votes. Since then, social choice theory -- the logical study of the properties of collective decisionmaking processes -- has shown that every voting system is vulnerable to strategic manipulation. In American constituional thought, Arrow's Theorem has raised legions of commentary, both worried and defensive, and there is hardly any treatise on constitutional theory leaving out a hint at social choice theory (see, e.g., MARK TUSHNET, RED, WHITE, AND BLUE 17 (1988); LAURENCE TRIBE, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, § 1-8, at 12 n. 6 (2nd ed. 1988); BRUCE ACKERMAN, SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE LIBERAL STATE 293 (1980); Richard Posner, The Decline of Law as an Autonomous Discipline: 1962-1987, 100 HARVARD L.REV. 761, 774 (1987); Frank Michelman, Political Markets and Community Self Determination: Competing Judicial Models of Local Government Legitimacy, 53 IND. L.J. 145, 157-158 n. 48 (1978); CASS SUNSTEIN, THE PARTIAL CONSTITUTION 125 and 163 (1993)). On social choice theory see, for a start, on the one hand WILLIAM H. RIKER, LIBERALISM AGAINST POPULISM: A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE THEORY OF DEMOCRACY AND THE THEORY OF SOCIAL CHOICE, Prospect Heights (Ill.) (Waveland Press) 1982; .on the other hand Pildes & Anderson, 90 COLUMBIA L.REV. 2121 (1990), supra note 93, with a lot of further reference.

139. Elster, Majority Rule, supra note 138, at 178-9.

140. In general, I follow Steven Croleyís grouping. Croley, 62 U. Chic. L.Rev. 689 (1995), at 748 et seq. (supra note 1).

141. Borkís major contribution to the discussion is Bork, The TemPTING OF AMERICA, supra note 1.

142. Cf. William H. Rehnquist, The Notion of a Living Constitution, 54 Texas L. Rev. 693 (1976).

143. Robert H. Bork, Tradition and Morality in Constitutional Law, in Courts, Judges, and Politics: An Introduction to the Judicial Process (Walter F. Murphy & C. Herman Pritchett eds.), McGrawth-Hill, 4th ed. 1986, 635, at 639.

144. Mark V. Tushnet, Judicial Review, 7 Harv. J.L.&Pub. Pol. 77 (1984), at 77. In the same vein: Erwin Chemerinsky, Interpreting the Constitution, supra note 28, at 11-12: "[A]ttackers of judicial review must either argue for the elimination of all judicial review or abandon the major premise of their argument (that 'all decisions in a democracy must be subject to control by electorally accountable institutions and individuals')."

145. Mark V. Tushnet, The Dilemmas of Liberal Constitutionalism, 42 Ohio St. L.J. 411 (1981), at 425-26.

146. Croley calls this approach ìrepresentation-orientedî. However, I will avoid this label because it creates confusionas to John Elyís model which is often referred to representation-oriented.

147. Bickel, supra note 1, at 24. For a striking critique see Paul W. Kahn, Legitimacy and History: Self-Government in American Constitutional Theory, New Haven/ London (Yale University Press) 1992, at 142-7.

148. Bruce A. Ackerman, We The People I -- Foundations, Cambridge (Mass.) (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) 1991; Bruce A. Ackerman, Constitutional Politics/ Constitutional Law, 99 Yale L.J. 453 (1989); Bruce A. Ackerman, The Storrs Lectures: Discovering the Constitution, 93 YALE L.J. 1013 (1984).

149. Ackerman, The Storrs Lectures, 93 Yale L.J. 1013 (1984), supra note 148, at 1022-3 (emphasis in the original, footnote omitted].

150. Croley, 62 U. Chic. L.Rev. 689 (1995), supra note 1, at 768.

151. Ely, Democracy and Distrust, supra note 1.

152. Ronald Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously, Cambridge (Mass.) (Harvard University Press) 1978; Ronald Dworkin, A Matter of Principle, Cambridge (Mass.) (Harvard University Press) 1985; Ronald Dworkin, Law'S EMPIRE, Cambridge (Mass.) (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) 1986; Ronald Dworkin, Equality, Democracy, and the Constitution: We the People in Court, 28 ALBERTA L.REV. 324 (1990); Ronald Dworkin, What is Equality? Part 4: Political Equality, 22 U. SAN FRANCISCO L.REV. 3 (1987). See the illuminating comments by KAHN, LEGITIMACY AND HISTORY, supra note 147, at 200-09.

153. See text supra accompanying note 138.

154. Very clear (and at times very harsh, too): Laurence H. Tribe, Taking Text and Structure Seriously: Reflections on Free-Form Method in Constitutional Interpretation, 108 HARV. L.REV. 1221 (1995).

155. Borkís approach has provoked a storm of attacks; suffice it to mention Bruce A. Ackerman, Robert Borkís Grand Inquisition, 99 Yale L.J. 1419 (1990); Ronald Dworkin, Borkís Jurisprudence, 57 U. Chic. L.Rev. 657 (1990).

156. See only Ronald Dworkin, The Forum of Principles, 56 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 469 (1981); further references supra in note 1.

157. See, for instance, Mark V. Tushnet, Anti-Formalism in Recent Constitutional Theory, 83 MICH.L.REV. 1503 (1985).

158. Another (hitherto unmentioned) highly articulate argument for the assumption that democracy and constitutionalism can be compatible is Professor Holmesí article about ëgag rules. (Stephen Holmes, Gag Rules or the Politics of Omission, in: Constitutionalism and Democracy (Jon Elster & Rune Slagstad eds.), Cambridge (Engl.) (Cambridge University Press) 1988, pp. 19-58.) His train of thought is at first glance compelling and echoes Madison. He contends that the removal of subjects from the private sphere may be justified as a means of ensuring the proper functioning of the democratic process. The reason behind this is the idea that public discussion of certain subjects -- such as religion -- makes democracy less well function because of the inherent potential of conflict. Religious dispute, for example, is likely to factionalize society and to group those factions around only one issue. To remove religion from the agenda of public discussion, however, will divert resources from unsolvable problems to solvable ones and may give more room to deliberation on the public good. Therefore, the voluntary foreclosure of choices as a atrategy constitutionalism makes use of enhances democracy rather than being in conflict with it. The persuasiveness of this concept derives from the fact that Holmes is not compelled to fall back upon any prepolitical or natural private sphere. His category of rights -- as Sunstein remarks -- derives solely from his desire to promote democracy, thus being somewhat close to Ely. (Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutions and Democracies: An Epilogue, in: CONSTITUTIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY (Jon Elster & Rune Slagstad eds.), in this note, pp. 327-356, at 339 with note 17.) But Sunstein at the same time challenges Holmes' idea by offering striking counter-arguments. First, while privatization through constitutional decision may indeed promote democracy in the way Holmes suggests; but the flip-side is that public discourse is not only immunized but that the subject is resolved in favor of one side or another. There is no "neutral" immunization through constitutionalism but inevitably a fiat -- a solution Sunstein finds "profoundly antidemocratic". (Ibid., at 340.) Secondly, Holmes' idea rests on wrong factual preconditions. It has turned out that sometimes, the political process works best when the issues under discussion are fundamental ones that are heatedly debated and conteded. The German discussion on abortion provides us with a recent example of this. Furthermore, to exclude fundamental questions from public discourse and decision-making would mean to operate democracy on a very low-stake level, with all the important and basic issues pre-resolved. Taking democracy seriously, however, means to have above all the fundamental issues resolved by the demos. After all, it is exactly this kind of distrust of the people and of public dialogue and discourse that this paper is directed against. Finally, it may well be true that people, realizing their matters of concern cannot be matched by the democratic process, lose their faith in the democratic system and its institutions. This result would lead to a much more serious undermining of democracy than the controversial debate about fundamental issues pre-determined as being "unresolvable".

159. Professor Holmes (Stephen Holmes, Precommitment and the Paradox of Democracy, in: Constitutionalism and Democracy (Jon Elster & Rune Slagstad eds), supra note 158, pp. 195-240, at 196-7) points to the two antipodes of the discussion, Friedrich August Hayek and Martin Shapiro. For Hayek, on the one hand, a constitution is a device performing the function of limiting the power of government; the people is myopic and undisciplined and has to be domesticised, just as Ulysses needed to be bound to a mast. (FRIEDRICH A. HAYEK, THE CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTY, Chicago [The University of Chicago Press] 1960, at pp. 176-92.) On the other hand, Shapiro suggests that our sole guide should be our collective decision today about what we want our polity to look like, and he asks why we should be enslaved by "certain dead gentlemen who could not possibly have visualized our current circumstances". (Martin Shapiro, Introduction, in: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND RELATED DOCUMENTS (Martin Shapiro ed.), xxi-xxii (New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts) 1968.) Holmes concludes: "Their disagreement neatly represents the quarrel ... between democrats who find constitutions a nuisance and constitutionalists who perceive democracy as a threat. Some theorists worry that democracy will be paralized be constitutional straitjacketing. Others are apprehensive that the constitutional dyke will be breached by the democratic flood." (Steven Holmes, Precommitment, in this note, at 197). This juxtaposition may be simplificatory; yet, I believe it is pointed.

160. Burt, The Constitution in Conflict, supra note 1.

161. I am following Professor Elster in this regard: Elster, Majority Rule, supra note 138, at 181-5.

162. Ibid., at 183.

163. However, I will not engage in the (economic) analysis of principal-agent relationships. There is extensive literature on this approach which can meanwhile be called a whole independent branch of political science. Cf., inter alia, John W. Pratt and Richard J. Zeckhauser, Principals and Agents: An Overview, in PRINCIPALS AND AGENTS: THE STRUCTURE OF BUSINESS (John W. Pratt & Richard J. Zeckhauser eds.), Boston (Harvard Business School Press) 1985, 1; Kenneth J. Arrow, The Economics of Agency, in: PRINCIPALS AND AGENTS, in this note, 37; Eric Rasmussen, Judicial Legitimacy as a Repeated Game, 10 J.L.E.O. 63 (1994).

164. Under this reading, the independence clause embedded in practically every constitution serves the purpose of furthering the legislatureís function as a deliberative institution.

165. This is a different representation of the majority than that of Bickel or Ackerman. Here, we are dealing with ìnormalî, everyday majorities, not, however, with ìhigherî, enlightened or purified majorities.

166. It is not possible to reduce this situation to the mere conflict between the majority (everyone except for the pressure group that receives the undue advantage) and the pressure group itself as the minority. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the interests of the majority differ considerably from the interests of other concerned minorities. For example, the legislature enacts a law in favor of, say, farmers who grow corn. Farmers who do not have the possibility of growing corn or who specialize in breeding pigs have an interest of either being treated alike or in reversing the corn-growing farmers' subsidy due to competitive advantage reasons. The majority, however, may have an interest in taking the farmers' interests as a whole less into account but to subsidise the industry or the service sector.

167. It is above all at this point that systems theory with its attempt of removing the subject from its framework of analysis has its merits.

168. See an article by a former Justice of the Bundesverfassungsgericht, Ernst Benda, Constitutional Jurisdiction in West Germany, 19 COL. J. TRANSNATIONAL L. 1-13 (1981): "The constitutional jurisdiction should not play the role of the opposition, but in a very specific way its duty is to protect the minority. From this point of view, the criticism that the constitutional courts are a non-democratic power will carry no conviction as long as the majority of today must be prepared to be the minority of tomorrow; so, in the long run, the majority, too, is dependent upon the protection of the constitutional courts." Reprinted in MARY ANN GLENDON, MICHAEL WALLACE GORDON & CHRISTOPHER OSAKWE, COMPARATIVE LEGAL TRADITIONS, 2nd ed., St. Paul (Minn.) (West Publishing Co.) 1994, at p. 96.

169. Cf. Gusy, Richterliches Pr¸fungsrecht, supra note 12, at pp. 126-7.

170. My emphasis.

171. Ackerman, We the People, supra note 148, at p. 15.

172. Ibid., at p. 11.

173. Ibid., at p. 8.

174. BVerfGE 5, 85; 6, 32, 36; 7, 198, 205; 27, 1; 45, 187, 227; further reference is given by Niebler, 1989 Bayerische Verwaltungsblätter 737; Ekkehart Stein, StaatsrechT, Tübingen (J.C.B.Mohr), 14th ed. 1993, at p. 458; Philip Kunig, Art. 1, in: GRUNDGESETZKOMMENTAR, VOL. 1 (Präambel - Art. 20), 4th ed. (Ingo von Münch & Philip Kunig eds.), München (C.H. Beck) 1992, esp. at para. 4 with further references.

175. Peter Häberle, Die Menschenw¸rde als Grundlage der staatlichen Gemeinschaft, in: Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Vol.I, supra note 44, pp. 815-61.

176. Constant jurisprudence of the Bundesverfassungsgericht, see, e.g., BVerfGE 27, 1 -- Microcensus Case; BVerfGE 45, 187 -- Lifelong Imprisonment.

177. Ronald Dworkin, Equality, Democracy, and Constitution, supra note 152, at 326-7.

178. Peter Badura, Verfassung, Staat und Gesellschaft in der Sicht des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, in Bundesverfassungsgericht und Grundgesetz, Festgabe aus Anlaþ des 25jährigen Bestehens des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, Vol. 2 (Christian Starck ed.), T¸bingen (J.C.B.Mohr) 1976, 1.

179. Josef Esser, Vorverständnis und Methodenwahl in der Rechtsfindung: Rationalitätsgarantien der RICHTERLICHEN ENTSCHEIDUNGSPRAXIS, Frankfurt/Main (Athenäum) 1970.

180. In the words of Professor Brugger: ìpurifiedî pluralism. Winfried Brugger, Radikaler und geläuterter Pluralismus, 32 Der Staat 497 (1990).

181. Cf. the references given by Peter Häberle, Das Menschenbild im Verfassungsstaat, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1988.

182. BVerfGE 4, 7, at 15-16.

183. BVerfGE 30, 173, at 193.

184. Kommers, Constitutional Jurisprudence, supra note 25, at 313.

185. Ibid.

186. Ibid.

187. Some major works are Michael J. Sandel, LiberalISM AND THE LIMITS OF JUSTICE, Cambridge (Engl.) (Cambridge University Press) 1982; ALISTAIR MACINTYRE, AFTER VIRTUE, London (Duckworth) 1981; CHARLES TAYLOR, SOURCES OF THE SELF: THE MAKING OF THE MODERN IDENTITY, Cambridge (Mass.)/ London (Harvard University Press) 1989; MICHAEL WALZER, SPHERES OF JUSTICE: A DEFENSE OF PLRALISM AND EQUALITY, New York (Basic Books) 1983.

188. For this account of rights-oriented liberalism only Jean L. Cohen & Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, Cambridge (Mass.)/ London (MIT Press) 1992, at 8.

189. Ibid., at 9.

190. See, e.g., Democratic Community (John W. Chapman & Ian Shapiro eds.), Nomos XXXV, New York/ London (New York University Press) 1993; New Communitarian Thinking: Persons, Virtues, Institutions, and Communities (Amitai Etzioni ed.), Charlottesville/ London (University Press of Virginia) 1995.

191. Cohen & Arato, supra note 188, at 9-10.

192. Kahn, Legitimacy and History, supra note 147, at 223.

193. Professor Kahn does not ultimately advocate his findings; his conclusion is rather of a theoretical or analytical kind. Arriving at the above-mentioned impossibility of reconciling community and authority, he ends: "Theory will inevitably move beyond practice, but no one lives wholly in theory. Even Socrates had to suffer the deeds of authority. Those who seek to find a harmony of discourse and authority should recognize the Socratic risks that accompany genuine discourse." (KAHN, LEGITIMACY AND HISTORY, supra note 147, at 223).

194. Ibid., at 221-3.

195. Such an approach is taken, e.g., by Ulrich Rödel, Zivilgesellschaft und Verfassung, in DEMOKRATIE, VERFASSUNG UND NATION: DIE POLITISCHE INTEGRATION MODERNER GESELLSCHAFTEN (Jürgen Gebhard & Rainer Schmalz-Bruns eds.), Baden-Baden (Nomos) 1994, 123.

196. Cohen & Arato, supra note 188, at 30.

197. Benjamin R. Barber, Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, Berkeley et al. (University of California Press) 1984, at 15 et seq.

198. Ibid., at 17.

199. See, for instance, Helmut Willke, Ironie des Staates: Grundlinien einer STAATSTHEORIE POLYZENTRISCHER GESELLSCHAFT, Frankfurt/Main (Suhrkamp) 1992, inter alia at 80.

200. Barber, Strong Democracy, supra note 197, at 17-8.

201. BVerfGE 4, 7, at 15; BVerfGE 12, 45, at 51; BVerfGE 20, 1, at 20.

202. Barber, Strong Democracy, supra note 197, at 21.

203. Ibid., at 20-1.

204. Ibid., at 21.

205. Ibid.

206. See text supra accompanying note 93.

207. Which, incidentally, in Germany is thick and red and called ìThe Pschyrembelî (presumably after its first author) and has appeared in its zillionth edition. I am grateful to my brother Georg who incessantly carried that brick around when he was at medical school, so that even many years later I remember its odd name without having to spend the money on an expensive overseas-call to ask him.

208. Although, I imagine that sometimes even the conventionalists get cold feet and flirt with the revised story: the Constitution wants a strong Constitutional Court, allright -- but not that strong.

209. For the connectedness of the political questions doctrine and the principle of judicial self-restraint see, inter alia, FRITZ WILHELM SCHARPF, GRENZEN DER RICHTERLICHEN VERANTWORTUNG. DIE POLITICAL-QUESTION-DOKTRIN IN DER RECHTSPRECHUNG DES AMERIKANISCHEN SUPREME COURT, Karlsruhe (C.F. Müller) 1965, at 2-3; Louis Henkin, Is There a "Political Question" Doctrine?, 85 YALE L. J. 597 (1976), at 625. For claims for self-restraint on the part of the Federal Constitutional Court see, inter alia, Rüdiger Zuck, Political Question, Judicial self-restraint und das Bundesverfassungsgericht, 1974 JURISTENZEITUNG 361; Martin Kriele, Recht und Politik in der Verfassungsrechtsprechung, 1976 NEUE JURISTISCHE WOCHENSCHRIFT 777; Norbert Achterberg, Bundesverfassungsgericht und Zurückhaltungsgebote, 1977 DIE ÖFFENTLICHE VERWALTUNG 649; Klaus von Beyme, Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit und Policy-Analysis, in: FESTSCHRIFT FÜR RUDOLF WASSERMANN ZUM SECHZIGSTEN GEBURTSTAG (Christian Broda et al. eds.), Neuwied (Luchterhand) 1985, 259-277. Further references are given by HEUN, FUNKTIONELL-RECHTLICHE SCHRANKEN, supra note 135, at p. 11 note 8.

210. Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Baker v. Carr (369 U.S. 186, 217 [1962]) the political questions doctrine has dramatically decreased in importance. In this decision, the Supreme Court has rendered a ìdefinitveî statement on the doctrine, and has summarized the main points (at 217): ìProminent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found a [1] textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; [2] or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; [3] or the impossibility of deciding without any initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nunjudicial discretion; [4] or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; [5] or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; [6] or the potentiality of embarassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question." Professor Tribe informs us that Gilligan v. Morgan (413 U.S. 1 (1973)) is the only case since Baker v. Carr in which the Supreme Court has invoked the political questions doctrine to hold an issue nonjusticiable: LAURENCE H. TRIBE, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 2nd edition, Mineola/New York (The Foundation Press) 1988, at p. 105. In addition, it is "in a state of some confusion" (ibid., at 96).

211. Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: Alternativ-Kommentar, supra note 2, at para. 91. I might add that, in rejecting the application of a political questions doctrine in Germany, I am by far not alone. See, e.g., SCHLAICH, DAS BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, supra note 33, para. 469; STERN, DAS STAATSRECHT DER BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND VOL. II, supra note 31, at pp. 961-2; KOSTAS CHRYSSOGONOS, VERFASSUNGSGERICHTSBARKEIT UND GESETZGEBUNG, Berlin (Ducker&Humblot) 1987, at pp. 175-9 with extensive further reference in note 140. One of the more positive attitudes towards this doctrine is voiced by DOLZER, VERFASSUNGSKONKRETISIERUNG DURCH DAS BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT UND DURCH POLITISCHE VERFASSUNGSORGANE, supra note 35.

212. BVerfGE 36, 1, 14-5; 39, 1, 51; 48, 127, 160. See Rinken, vor Art. 93, in: Alternativ-Kommentar, supra note 2, at para. 92; Chryssogonos, supra note 211, at 170-5.

213. Rinken, ibid.

214. ìSchelteî (scolding) in German is associated to what parents do to their children when the latter have been naughty. So the term Urteilsschelte -- which on a regular basis is used by the media in describing attacks from the political system on specific decisions -- implies, on the one hand, a relationship between Court and politics that reverses the reality, thus, of course, holding up the democratic discourse of the superiority of democratic accountability etc. On the other hand, the term Schelte is a little old-fashioned and therefore attains a peculiar connotation -- something of a winking.

215. Richard Häuþler, Der Konflikt zwischen Bundesverfassungsgericht und politischer F¸hrung: EiN BEITRAG ZU GESCHICHTE UND RECHTSSTELLUNG DES BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHTS, Berlin (Duncker&Humblot) 1994.

216. See, e.g., Landfried, Constitutional Review and Legislation, supra note 76, at 165-6 with further references.

217. In Germany, this might be due to the fact that the government is elected by the parliamentary majority. Due to mostly strict party and fractional discipline (Fraktionszwang) the government can almost always be certain to count on support from its fraction -- and because it is the majority, from Parliament as such. Let me add that the second chamber (Bundesrat) which is made up of representatives of the Länder governments acts as a counterweight because it is conceivable (and the case at the moment) that the majority of Länder governments is, say, social-democratic, whereas the federal government is conservative. Thus, federalism acts as a substitute for the traditional parliamentarian opposition.

218. Häuþler, supra note 215.

219. Landfried, Constitutional Review and Legislation, supra note 76; CHRYSSOGONOS, supra note 211, both with further references.

220. See text supra around notes 22 and 23.

221. See text supra accompanying notes 85-93.

222. Croley, 62 U.Chicago L.Rev. 689 (1995), supra note 1, at 788-91.

223. See supra note 30.

224. Croley, 62 U.Chicago L.Rev. 689 (1995), supra note 1, at 710.

225. See text supra accompanying notes 47-72.

226. Conc. op., BVerfGE 80, 137, 164, at 167, quoting from BVerfGE 54, 148, 153. The concurring opinion was written by Justice Dieter Grimm in the so-called Riding-in-the-Woods decision. The Bundesverfassungsgericht upheld a statute that prohibited horse-riding in the woods away from bridle-paths. The Court held that the statute, although limiting the right to general freedom of action, was constitutional. This is not remarkable at all. What was remarkable, however, was the concurring opinion. Grimm doubts that riding horses in woods on or off private bridle-paths falls within the sphere of constitutionally protected development of one's personality, "understood in a more narrow sense".

227. Both thoughts -- the constitutional complaint getting out of hands and entailing a banalization of fundamental rights -- can be found in Justice Grimmís concurring opinion.

228. Justice Grimmís views have been rejected by the Court and by the majority of subsequent commentaries, the main argument being that such an interpretational shift would lead to ao lower level of protection of freedom. See, e.g., Bodo Pieroth, Der Wert der Auffangfunktion des Art. 2 Abs. 1 GG. Zu einem bundesverfassungsgerichtsinternen Streit um die allgemeine Handlungsfreiheit, ARCHIV DES ÖFFENTLICHEN RECHTS 33-44 (1990).

229. I am aware of the fact that many scholars would deny the very possibility of provisions being clear or unambiguous. After all, I have mentioned Professor Fish myself earlier. This, however, should not distract us too much from our task. The fact that at 5 oíclock in the morning you cannot tell whether it is day or night does not mean that, say, at midnight it is impossible to say it is night, or that at noon it is day. Surely, constitutional law is often bound to be open-textured. However, the Basic Law, in contrast to the American Constitution, contains almost 150 Articles that are, at least in part, extraordinarily detailed. I believe that it is possible, in relation to many of them, to agree on whether it is day or night. (I am grateful to Professor Joseph Weiler for providing me with this argument, and constantly -- winkingly -- trashing "philosophies of indeterminacy".)

230. To my knowledge, it has hardly been acknowledged that Justice Böckenförde in 1990 argued in favor of a reduced scope of the principle of proportionality in relation to legislative decisions -- although hidden at the end of a footnote. Cf. Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde, Grundrechte als Grundsatznormen. Zur gegenwärtigen Lage der Grundrechtsdogmatik, 29 DER STAAT 1 (1990); reprinted in ERNST-WOLFGANG BÖCKENFÖRDE, STAAT, VERFASSUNG, DEMOKRATIE, supra note 5, pp. 159-199, at 195 footnote 110.

231. Böckenförde, Grundrechte als Grundsatznormen, supra note 230, at 194.

232. Ibid., at p. 195.

233. This should not be confused with ìmaterial constitutionalityî (materielle Verfassungsmäþigkeit). What I am discussing here is a substantially informed legislatory process, not outcome.

234. This suggestion came up in the follow-up discussion of the 1976 Co-Determination decision, BVerfGE 50, 290, esp. 333. Major proponents at the time were Gunther Schwerdtfeger, Optimale Methodik der Gesetzgebung als Verfassungspflicht, in: Hamburg - Deutschland - Europa. BeITRÄGE ZUM DEUTSCHEN UND EUROPÄISCHEN VERFASSUNGS-, VERWALTUNGS- UND WIRTSCHAFTSRECHT. FESTSCHRIFT FÜR HANS PETER IPSEN ZUM SIEBZIGSTEN GEBURTSTAG (Rolf Stödter & Werner Thieme eds.), Tübingen (J.C.B. Mohr) 1977, 173; Rüdiger Breuer, Legislative und administrative Prognoseentscheidung, 16 DER STAAT 40 (1977). In this context also note a decision by the Constitutional Court of Northrhine Westfalia, striking down a statute because the state legislator did not have an accurate image of the relevant circumstance while making the law. VerfGH NW, DEUTSCHES VERWALTUNGSBLATT 391 (1976) - Meerbusch. The majority of scholars have rejected the suggestion of the optimum legislative methodology. The counter-argument is that the legislator owes nothing but a (valid and constitutional) law: see Cf., e.g., SCHLAICH, DAS BUNDESVERFASSUNGSGERICHT, supra note 33, at para. 506. According to the majority opinion, there is nothing in the Basic Law from which such a duty may be deduced. Legislation, it is argued, is not administration, a representative in the Parliament not a civil servant, and control of the legislation must not distort the distinct features of the parliamentary process. Ibid.; in addition see Rainer Wahl, Der Vorrang der Verfassung, 20 DER STAAT 504 (1980); BRYDE, VERFASSUNGSENTWICKLUNG, supra note 24, at p. 328; Christoph Gusy, Das Grundgesetz als normative Gesetzgebungslehre, 1985 ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR RECHTSPOLITIK 295, at 298. I am skeptical whether these arguments really hold up. It seems to me that most opponents understand this approach as Verhaltenskontrolle added to Ergebniskontrolle. This is beside the point. Rather, as I have explained, the suggestion is a shift from substance to process, at least in regard to certain questions.

235. See text supra accompanying note 21.

236. See, for example, Professor Barberís ìStrong Democratic Program for the Revitalization of Citizenshipî; here are some soundbites: neighborhood assemblies, a civic communications cooperative, a civic videotex service and a civic education postal act, initiative and referendum process, electronic balloting, local ellections by lottery, internal voucher system for schools, housing projects etc., universal citizen service, local volunteer programs, workplace democracy, a new architecture of civic and public space. BARBER, STRONG DEMOCRACY, supra note 197, at 267 et seq., agenda at 307. If I read this agenda in weak moments, I find it, to be honest, pretty scary.

237. Balkin, Populism and Progressivism, supra note 4, at 1946 in footnote 29.

238. Ibid., at 1946.

239. BVerfGE 37, 271 -- Solange I; BVerfGE 73, 339 -- Solange II.

240. See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 24, 1995, p. 3.



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