Democracy by Decree

What Happens When Courts Run Government

By Ross Sandler; David Schoenbrod
(Yale University Press, Paperback, 9780300103144, 288pp.)

Publication Date: August 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

This valuable book explains why schools, welfare agencies, and other important state and local institutions have come to be controlled by attorneys and judges rather than by governors and mayors. The authors discuss why this has resulted in worse service to the public and what can be done to restore control of these programs to elected—and accountable—officials.
“A brilliant, well-written and brave account of how federal courts have distorted our political system by taking control of complex institutions like schools and prisons—sometimes for decades—instead of enforcing rights, which is their proper domain.”—Diane Ravitch, New York University
“A thought-provoking book about the fundamental issues of democracy, federalism, and separation of powers.”—Ross Weiner, Legal Times
“This book shows how well-meaning efforts to fix society’s problems often fail because the judiciary is badly equipped to enforce such changes.”—Jonathan Shapiro, Washington Post
“An elegant volume.”—Harvard Law Review




About the Author

Ross Sandler is professor of law and director of New York Law School’s Center for New York City Law. David Schoenbrod is a professor at New York Law School and author of Power Without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People through Delegation, published by Yale University Press.




Praise For Democracy by Decree

“A compelling story with a powerful argument backed by lots of fascinating stories about judicial shipwrecks.”—James B. Jacobs, New York University School of Law


"Democracy by Decree shows how courts can protect rights and still let mayors and governors do their job.”—John Sexton, president of NYU and dean of NYU Law School


“A brilliant, well-written and brave account of how federal courts have distorted our political system by taking control of complex institutions like schools and prisons--sometimes for decades--instead of enforcing rights, which is their proper domain.”
--Diane Ravitch, New York University

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