Alexander Hamilton famously characterized the Judiciary as the “least dangerous” branch. It “has no influence over either the sword or the purse” and thus “must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” But this perceived safeguard has sometimes proven to be the institution’s undoing. Faced with the prospect of appearing impotent, the Supreme Court has, on occasion, played the role of doctrinal apologist. The Court has bent seemingly immutable constitutional prerogatives to sanction Executive action when a contrary ruling would likely go unheeded.
"Rationalizing the Constitution: The Military Commissions Act and the Duboius Legacy of Ex Parte Quirin,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 42
, Article 2.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol42/iss1/2