No Litmus Test: Law versus Politics in the Twenty-First Century

Author:   Michael C. Dorf
Publisher:   Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN:  

9780742550292


Pages:   320
Publication Date:   09 March 2006
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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No Litmus Test: Law versus Politics in the Twenty-First Century


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Overview

The courts and, indeed, the law itself are under assault from both right and left. Conservatives denounce what they see as liberal judicial activism in decisions involving abortion, gay rights, and the separation of church and state. They seek judges who will apply rather than make the law. Meanwhile, liberals decry the apparent hypocrisy of a Supreme Court that invokes states' rights to invalidate civil rights laws while overriding states' rights in order to put a Republican in the White House. Backed by academic critics who have been arguing against the possibility of objectivity for roughly a century, many critics on the left have essentially given up: Law, they contend, is simply politics in disguise. By analyzing the most pressing controversies of our day, Columbia University Law Professor Michael Dorf defends the possibility of principled legal decision making against the attacks of both the right and the left. From Bush v. Gore to the war in Iraq, No Litmus Test demonstrates that even when the law provides no clear-cut right answers, it offers tools for distinguishing good arguments from bad ones.

Full Product Details

Author:   Michael C. Dorf
Publisher:   Rowman & Littlefield
Imprint:   Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Dimensions:   Width: 16.40cm , Height: 2.50cm , Length: 23.60cm
Weight:   0.617kg
ISBN:  

9780742550292


ISBN 10:   074255029
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   09 March 2006
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate ,  Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

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Reviews

Written to be accessible to the intelligent layman while broadening even the seasoned expert's understanding, Michael Dorf's colorful, creative and invariably clear analyses of the most vexing constitutional controversies of our time add up to a compelling case for an approach to law and to judging that rejects the extremes of both right and left - and emerges with a position more reasonable and reasoned than either and both more interesting, and more surprising, than a simple average of the two. -- Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard University Professor Dorf strives for fairness throughout, arguing against fetishizing the law at the cost of losing valuable nonlegal perspectives. Harvard Law Review, March 2007 A distinguished law professor shows that law is-and must be-something more than politics by other means. Using contemporary examples, many of which the reader will find familiar, the author teases out a remarkably coherent theory of principled judging. This splendid effort takes the reader beyond hollow labels such as judicial activist and strict constructionist and gives important insights into the kind of thinking that we should look for in a federal judge or justice -- Alex Kozinski, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


A distinguished law professor shows that law is--and must be--something more than politics by other means. Using contemporary examples, many of which the reader will find familiar, the author teases out a remarkably coherent theory of principled judging. This splendid effort takes the reader beyond hollow labels such as judicial activist and strict constructionist and gives important insights into the kind of thinking that we should look for in a federal judge or justice--Alex Kozinski


Author Information

Michael C. Dorf is the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law at Columbia University School of Law. He is the editor of Constitutional Law Stories (2004) and coauthor, with Laurence H. Tribe, of On Reading the Constitution (1991). He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (1991-1992) and Judge Stephen Reinhardt of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1990-1991).

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