The People's Court

The Most Democratic Branch

How the Courts Serve America

Jeffrey Rosen

Oxford University Press, $25, 256 pp.


Alexander Bickel, the great scholar of the Supreme Court, famously called the power of judicial review “counter-majoritarian.” Nowhere does the Constitution explicitly grant the Supreme Court the power to declare law unconstitutional. More to the point, the practice is hard to square with the idea of democratic governance. After all, democracies are supposed to vest law-making power in legislative majorities that are electorally...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


About the Author

Lawrence Douglas is Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College. He is the author most recently of The Catastrophist, a novel.

Also by this author

Book Reviews