603 Annals of Am. Acad. of Pol. & Soc. Sci. 111 (2006)
Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rivals the Supreme Court of the United States in protecting political democracy. Its jurisprudence of democracy has shaped the course and character of German politics while upholding the rule of law and defending the constitutionally prescribed “free democratic basic order.” In furtherance of these objectives, the Constitutional Court has invalidated regulations limiting the rights of minor parties and constitutionalizing measures designed to stabilize Germany’s system of parliamentary government. These purposes have been served by constitutional decisions on voting rights, public funding of election campaigns, dissolution of Parliament, and proportional representation, including the limiting 5 percent clause. These decisions, along with a discussion of the Hessian Election Review Case—a reminder of Bush v. Gore—are calculated to make political representation both responsive and responsible and to anchor the political system firmly in the democratic values at the heart of the Basic Law.
Donald P. Kommers,
The Federal Constitutional Court: Guardian of German Democracy,
603 Annals of Am. Acad. of Pol. & Soc. Sci. 111 (2006).
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