Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government (Paperback)

What Happens When Courts Run Government

By Ross Sandler, David Schoenbrod

Yale University Press, 9780300103144, 280pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2004



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.