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READ // Democracy and Distrust : A Theory of Judicial Review
David Skover, Seattle University
Democracy and Distrust : A Theory of Judicial ReviewBy John Hart ElyCambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c1980KF4575.E4 2002
From Professor David Skover:
As a constitutionalist, I have no choice but to recommend John Hart Ely’s Democracy and Distrust (1980). It is no exaggeration to claim that this work is the most influential constitutional law book written in the second half of the 20th Century. Since its publication, it has been cited massively by courts and constitutional commentators, and it has become the cornerstone for an entire school of constitutional theory. Known as “process-based constitutionalism,” this theory generally argues that the Constitution is primarily concerned with process and structure, and not with the judicial identification and preservation of specific substantive values. Whatever you may think of process-based constitutionalism (and some, indeed, think very little of it), you cannot be a truly literate student of constitutional law without becoming extremely familiar with the merits and demerits of Professor Ely’s famous theory of judicial review.
From the Publisher:Written for layman and scholar alike, the book addresses one of the most important issues facing Americans today: within what guidelines shall the Supreme Court apply the strictures of the Constitution to the complexities of modern life?
About the Author:John Hart Ely was one of the most widely-cited legal scholars in United States history according to a 2000 study in the University of Chicago’s Journal of Legal Studies. A graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School, he clerked for United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren before joining the faculty at Stanford Law School. In 1996, he joined the faculty at Miami Law School. He died in 2003.
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