15 August 2007

Law & Politics Book Review: Jeffrey Rosen's "The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America"

Vol. 17 No.8 (August 2007) of Law & Politics Book Review has a an article by prof. Jack E. Call (Radford University) reviewing Jeffrey Rosen's The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America (OUP 2006). This is from prof. Call's review:

"Public opinion polls suggest that three commonly held views of the courts are that they 1) exist to protect ordinary people from the tyranny of the majority (or perhaps the elite); 2) they are out of tune with what the majority of Americans desire; or 3) they are rather closely in touch with and follow public opinion. In THE MOST DEMOCRATIC BRANCH: HOW THE COURTS SERVE AMERICA, Jeffrey Rosen argues not only that the courts (by which he usually means the Supreme Court) have generally followed public opinion but that they should follow it. When they do not, they engage in judicial unilateralism, defined as “a court’s decision to strike down federal or state laws in the name of a constitutional principle that is being actively and intensely contested by a majority of the American people” (p.8). Rosen argues that when the Court engages in judicial unilateralism, its decision usually results in undesirable consequences".

More on the Law & Politics Book Review website.

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