Constitutional theorists usually assume that minority-protective judicial review leads to outcomes more favorable to the protected minority and less favorable to the majority. Our analysis highlights three effects of judicial review that complicate, and sometimes undermine, this conventional wisdom. First, judicial review can induce a shift from a separating equilibrium—in which pro-majority leaders and pro-minority leaders pursue different policies—to a semiseparating or pooling equilibrium in which pro-minority leaders sometimes mimic pro-majority leaders by adopting the most antiminority policy that the judiciary would uphold. Second, if judicial invalidation of anti-minority policies is probabilistic rather than certain, pro-majority leaders may propose even more extreme anti-minority policies in order to deter pro-minority leaders from mimicking. Third, if voters cannot directly observe policy outcomes, then minority-protective judicial review may create incentives for a leader to signal (or conceal) her type by provoking judicial reversal. These effects can sometimes nullify, or even reverse, the assumed relationship between minority-protective judicial review and pro-minority outcomes. When such reversal occurs, majoritarian democrats should favor minority-protective judicial review, while those concerned with protecting unpopular minorities should oppose it. ∗We are grateful to Rachel Brewster, Glenn Cohen, Tiberiu Dragu, Richard Fallon, Barry Friedman, Sean Gailmard, Louis Kaplow, Michael Klarman, Jonathan Masur, Frank Michelman, Mark Ramseyer, Ben Roin, Fred Schauer, Jed Shugerman, Steve Shavell, Mark Tushnet, Adrian Vermeule, and Mark Wu, as well as to workshop participants at Harvard Law School, Boston University Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen, the American Law and Economics Association annual meeting, the LSENYU Conference on Political Science and Political Economy, the Harvard Conference on Political Economy and Public Law, and the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, for helpful comments on earlier drafts. †Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Yale University, ISPS, P.O. Box 208209, New Haven, CT 06520. Email: email@example.com ‡Professor, Harvard Law School, Griswold 509, Cambridge, MA 02138. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (corresponding author) Constitutional judicial review, which empowers unelected judges to reject the decisions of elected legislatures and executives, raises what Bickel (1962) famously described as a “countermajoritarian difficulty.” After all, democratic political systems share a commitment to the principle of majority rule, partly on the grounds that policies (or leaders) supported by a majority are inherently more legitimate (Dahl 1989), and also on the more instrumental grounds that the regular elections ameliorate the principal-agent problem inherent in representative government, thereby producing more socially desirable policies (Fearon 1999; Riker 1982). For these and other reasons, many prominent constitutional theorists have urged the rejection or sharp curtailment of countermajoritarian judicial review (Tushnet 1999; Waldron 2006). At the same time, however, pure majority rule is normatively problematic. Even if one puts aside questions about whether voters understand their own interests, the ideal policy of the median voter may not maximize aggregate social welfare (Stiglitz 2000, pp. 237-241). Moreover, majoritiarian policymaking may have undesirable distributional consequences—a “tyranny of the majority”—in which certain vulnerable minority groups consistently lose out (Guinier 1994). Majoritarian electoral pressures may also distort policymaking in directions that are undesirable, even for the majority (Canes-Wrone, Herron and Shotts 2001; Fox and Stephenson 2011). Many influential legal scholars see judicially enforced constitutional limits as a possible remedy for these pathologies; on this view, the countermajoritarian nature of appropriately designed judicial review is something to celebrate rather than condemn (Chemerinsky 2004; Dworkin 1985; Ely 1980). Important contributions to the political economy literature suggest similar conclusions (Maskin and Tirole 2004; Rogers and Vanberg 2007). All sides of the normative debate over countermajoritarian judicial review make certain positive assumptions about the effect that such review is likely to have on policy outcomes. One such assumption is that courts are in fact often willing to block policies that adversely Many theorists qualify this claim by identifying certain criteria that must be satisfied before majoritarian decisions have an intrinsic claim to legitimacy (Cohen 1997; Dworkin 1996) Additional instrumental arguments for majority rule include the claim (derived from Condorcet’s jury theorem) that majority rule systems effectively aggregate dispersed information (Dahl 1989).