Brennan and democracy /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Michelman, Frank I., 1936-
Imprint:Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1999.
Description:xii, 148 p. ; 24 cm.
Subject:Brennan, William J. -- 1906-1997.
Brennan, William J., -- 1906-1997
Constitutional law -- United States.
Constitutional law.
United States.
Format: Print Book
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ISBN:0691007152 (cl : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

_ Michelman (law, Harvard) served as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in the 1961-62 term. Clearly the justice would be pleased by the provocative, thoughtful craftsmanship of this work. Consisting of only two chapters, the book examines the age-old tension that exists in a putatively democratic system of government in which the people and their duly elected representatives make public policy, yet an unelected, virtually unaccountable judiciary can override the wishes of the majority by determining those wishes to be unconstitutional. Chapter 1 deals with this issue in a highly abstract and philosophical way, often examining the work of constitutional theorists Ronald Dworkin and Robert Post. Chapter 2 puts this debate into more concrete form by examining Brennan's judicial opinions in the context of communitarian and libertarian ideologies of self-government. Although both chapters are fine contributions to scholarship, general readers will no doubt have some difficulty with the abstraction of chapter 1. Thus, this work is recommended for graduate students and scholars of constitutional and legal theory. M. W. Bowers; University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review