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‹ BOOKS

Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government

Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod, Professors, New York Law School (Yale University Press, 2003)

In this valuable book, Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod explain the courts, with the best intentions and often with the approval of elected officials, have come to control ordinary policy making through court decrees. These court regimes, they assert, impose rigid and often ancient detailed plans that can founder on reality. Newly elected officials, who may wish to alter the plans in response to the changing wishes of voters, cannot do so unless attorneys, court-appointed functionaries and lower-echelon officials agree. The result is neither judicial government nor good government, say Sandler and Schoenbrod, and they offer practical reforms that would set governments free from this judicial stranglehold, allow courts to do their legitimate job of protecting rights and strengthen democracy. [ed. 5/1/2004]


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Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.