Journals Higher Education



Published: 19 November 2008

224 Pages

6 1/8 X 9 1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195371208

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (01)

Judgment Calls

Principle and Politics in Constitutional Law

Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry

In Judgment Calls, Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry present a fresh perspective on judicial review, taking aim at those who see only two types of approaches to judicial decisions: one based on constitutional law and one based on raw politics. Building on their previous book Beyond All Reason, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, this volume is a similarly incisive challenge to some of the dominant tenets in mainstream legal studies and is sure to inspire debate. The authors aim to reconcile the democratic rule of law with the recognition that judges have discretion. The book takes on the problem of how the Supreme Court can operate in a principled way even in hard, politically charged cases where the legal materials fail to point unambiguously to a single outcome. Throughout, they describe the inherent constraints that keep judges from merely imposing their will, suggest standards for evaluating judicial performance, and make substantial suggestions for improvement. They close with a careful examination of the Supreme Court's controversial cases on the most pressing sociopolitical issues of recent times: the War on Terrorism, abortion, and affirmative action. Timely, trenchant, and carefully argued, Judgment Calls is a welcome addition to the literature on the intersection of constitutional interpretation and American politics.