Public Choice

, Volume 158, Issue 3–4, pp 513–523 | Cite as

A Danish killer amendment—when judicial review was banned from the 1849 Constitution

  • Mogens N. Pedersen


In real political life “killer amendments” are very rare. William H. Riker was the first political scientist to draw systematic attention to this special “heresthetic” phenomenon, but he was himself only able to identify a handful of successful “killer amendments”. Subsequent systematic empirical research has brought a few more to attention. In this article what may be the first successful example from outside the US context is described. It took place, when the Danish Constituent Assembly in 1849 discussed, if a proper judicial review procedure should be institutionalized in the Danish Constitution. The motion was defeated by means of what looks like a nicely orchestrated “killer amendment”.


Killer amendment Heresthetics Danish Constituent Assembly 1848–49 Judicial review 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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