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Democracy’s Privileged Few: Legislative Privilege and Democratic Norms in the British and American Constitutions Hardcover – February 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (February 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300113250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300113259
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Josh Chafetz manages to combine scholarly care with an almost journalistic ability to write in an accessible fashion."—Nick Barber, Oxford University 



(Nick Barber)

"A very distinguished work. Chafetz is beautifully clear and deals with an interesting problem concerning parliamentary government in Britain and America in a comparative manner. I do not know of any work which covers the ground in a similar way."—Vernon Bogdanor, Oxford University 


(Vernon Bogdanor)

"This book heralds the arrival of an important new scholar in the fields of comparative constitutional law and legal history. Fitting a broad range of institutional details into a comprehensive and subtle theoretical framework, Chafetz shows how Congressional privileges in America and Parliamentary privileges in England sprang from common origins but then evolved along separate paths as a result of basic differences in the political ecosystems. An excellent chronicle of the evolution of legislative privileges from the parliamentary supremacy of England to the popular sovereignty in kingless America."—Akhil Amar, Yale Law School

(Akhil Amar)

“A thorough and well-researched treatment of an important and neglected topic. Chafetz’s historical overview on legislative privilege deserves to become a well-known point of reference.”—Adrian Vermeule, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
 
 
(Adrian Vermeule)

About the Author

Josh Chafetz is a student at Yale Law School where he is an editor for the Yale Law & Policy Review and the Yale Law Journal. He received his doctorate in politics from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has written for the New York Times Book Review, New Republic, Commentary, Weekly Standard, and other journals. He lives in New Haven.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephen E. Sachs on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Democracy's Privileged Few is a careful, well-documented, and important study of an underappreciated topic in constitutional law. The legislative privileges protected by our Constitution are rarely discussed in courts, but they represent some of the most fundamental requirements of democratic self-government. Spanning from modern bribery scandals to freedom of speech, the power of Congress to imprison ordinary citizens, and medieval conflicts between the King and Parliament, Democracy's Privileged Few is an excellently written account of how legislative privilege emerged in the British Constitution and survived (or evolved) in the U.S. Constitution. Anyone with an interest in the foundations of American government would do well to read this book.
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