The Most Democratic Branch

The Most Democratic Branch

Author: Jeffrey Rosen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190291754

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

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Many critics attack federal judges as anti-democratic elitists, activists out of step with the mainstream of American thought. But others argue that judges should stand alone as the ultimate guardians of American values, placing principle before the views of the people. In The Most Democratic Branch, Jeffrey Rosen disagrees with both assertions. Contrary to what interest groups may claim, he contends that, from the days of John Marshall right up to the present, the federal courts by and large have reflected the opinions of the mainstream. More important, he argues that the Supreme Court is most successful when it defers to the constitutional views of the American people, as represented most notably by Congress and the Presidency. And on the rare occasion when they departed from the consensus, the result has often been a disaster. To illustrate, Rosen provides a penetrating look at some of the most important Supreme Court cases in American history--cases involving racial equality, affirmative action, abortion, gay rights and gay marriage, the right to die, electoral disputes, and civil liberties in wartime. Rosen shows that the most notorious constitutional decisions in American history--the ones that have been most strenuously criticized, such as Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade--have gone against mainstream opinion. By contrast, the most successful decisions--from Marbury v. Madison to Brown v. Board of Education--have avoided imposing constitutional principles over the wishes of the people. Rosen concludes that the judiciary works best when it identifies the constitutional principles accepted by a majority of Americans, and enforces them unequivocally as fundamental law. Jeffrey Rosen is one of the most respected legal experts writing today, a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and the Legal Affairs Editor of The New Republic. The provocative arguments that he puts forth here are bound to fuel heated debate at a time when the federal judiciary is already the focus of fierce criticism.
The Most Democratic Branch
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: Jeffrey Rosen
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006-06-19 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Many critics attack federal judges as anti-democratic elitists, activists out of step with the mainstream of American thought. But others argue that judges should stand alone as the ultimate guardians of American values, placing principle before the views of the people. In The Most Democratic Branch, Jeffrey Rosen disagrees with
The View of the Courts from the Hill
Language: en
Pages: 248
Authors: Mark C. Miller
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-04-28 - Publisher: University of Virginia Press

The View of the Courts from the Hill explores the current interactions and relationship between the U.S. Congress and federal courts using a "governance as dialogue" approach, which argues that constitutional interpretation in the United States is a continuous and complex conversation among all the institutions of government. Expanding on
The Judge in a Democracy
Language: en
Pages: 332
Authors: Aharon Barak
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2006 - Publisher: Princeton University Press

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Democracy's Chief Executive
Language: en
Pages: 297
Authors: Peter M. Shane
Categories: Constitutional history
Type: BOOK - Published: 2022 - Publisher: Univ of California Press

Legal scholar Peter M. Shane confronts U.S. presidential entitlement and offers a more reasonable way of conceptualizing our constitutional presidency in the twenty-first century. In the eyes of modern-day presidentialists, the United States Constitution's vesting of "executive power" means today what it meant in 1787. For them, what it meant
Losing the News
Language: en
Pages: 256
Authors: Alex Jones
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-09-02 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

In Losing the News, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones offers a probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media, changes which are eroding the core news that has been the essential food supply of our democracy. At a time of dazzling technological innovation, Jones says that what stands