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Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges Hardcover – January 1, 2003
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From the Inside Flap
In Coercing Virtue, former US solicitor general Robert H. Bork examines judicial activism and the practice of many courts as they consider and decide matters that are not committed to their authority. In his opinion, this practice infringes on the legitimate domains of the executive and legislative branches of government and constitutes a judicialization of politics and morals. Should courts be used as a vehicle of social change even if the majority view weighs against the court's ruling? And if we allow courts to make law, especially in a country like Canada where our Supreme Court judges aren't even elected, then what does this mean for democratic government?
"The nations of the West have long been afraid of catching the "American disease" — the seizure by judges of authority properly belonging to the people and their elected representatives. Those nations are learning, perhaps too late, that this imperialism is not an American disease; it is a judicial disease, one that knows no boundaries." — Robert H. Bork, from Coercing Virtue --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
While the 11th Circuit puts the 10 Commandments in the closet in Alabama and the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finds that a 4-year-old had no right to give out pencils that said "Jesus loves the little children" as Easter presents to classmates, we must ask ourselves: are we ruled by Law or by Men? To quote the author from one interview, "The nations in the West are increasingly governed not by law or elected representatives, but by unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable committees of lawyers applying the law in accordance with nothing other than their own will."
How will you decide this issue of judicial activism? Will you champion various court decisions because they align with your worldview, despite the consequences to our unique constitutional form of government in America and the delicate balance of power and culture between nations? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cited *foreign* court rulings as a basis (in part) for his decision in Lawrence v. Texas, and Ruth Bater Ginsberg was later quoted affirming and defending that practice. The New York Times has reported openly and approvingly that judges are engaging in a "worldwide constitutional conversation."
Research through the pages of this book what in the world is going on with the judiciary. Become informed about why the unique foundations of American law and jurisprudence are vital to the freedoms we all hold dear and to civilization as we know it.
The validity of Mr. Bork's central contention is difficult to evaluate. It requires finding counter-examples, or their absence, in the mass of law he has surveyed. That is beyond the scope of the ordinary citizen (not to mention this reviewer). However, assuming Bork's argument is valid, two inter-related puzzles surface. (1) Why are we not seeing more of a backlash against the "rule of judges" in democracies that have experienced judicial activism? (2) Why are Courts continually held in high esteem?Read more ›
Bob Bork completes the one-two-three punch by comparing the court activists in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. He traces the major activists back to their dirty, little holes. He accurately shows how judges, from many parts of the World, have replaced the rule of law with the rule of judges. Interestingly, the U.S., while in dire condition, is not the worst. Israel takes the anti-democratic cake. In Israel, the Supreme Court has made itself the arbiter of all laws and state policies, including defense policy and procedures. The Prime Minister and Knesset are a secondary part of government.
The common tread holding judges in such absolute, non checkable power is the vociferous public drubbing anyone takes who questions whether a judge's ruling is really law. This has led to most important "law" being made by unelected. It has dissipated the moral calculations of the legislature in favor of the moral calculations of the judges. They have become so bold as to ignore the black letter of the statute in favor of what they believe a "smart" legislature would or should have wanted to enact.
Bob Bork says that there are four approaches for correcting the fast slide into dictatorship. The first two deal with using the mechanisms in the Constitution to reign in the courts. But, since the courts don't really pay attention to the Constitution, he doesn't think these have any hope of success. I momentarily forget his third approach - equally short on probability of success. He says the best of the four is mere holding action: Attempt to change the law culture to spurn judicial activism in favor of (Justice Scalia's term) textual-ism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was hoping to read some suggestions about overcoming wicked judges but NOT much in that respect :(Published 14 months ago by Joseph W. Walker
I needed this for a research project and couldn't use a library copy as I mark up books I use for reference. Bork is Bork and screed is screed, enough said.Published on August 13, 2008 by PhilosopherKing
Judge Bork is of the caliber to be a Cheif Justice. He succinctly dissects every possible facet of the liberal/collectivist argument of each controversial issue. Read morePublished on September 15, 2005 by John A. Yelaeh
I haven't read the book yet but I feel compelled to balance out "a reader" who offers only one star and asserts that "misinformation abounds" by stating that Bork "misstates the... Read morePublished on July 7, 2005 by Parity
Whether or not one agrees with Robert Bork's opinions (I do as they are in the Goldwater libertarian vein) he has never been one to opine without an intellectual basis. Read morePublished on April 1, 2005 by Avid Reader
Bork's conservative politics are readily apparent in his writing, but his legal arguments are logical and apolitical. Read morePublished on July 15, 2004
I believe it was Nietzsche who said that the moment of total victory marks the beginning of the end. Read morePublished on July 10, 2004 by A you
Bork writes on page 104 that "Vriend is worth a closer look." He should follow his own advice because he misstates the legal issue surrounding the case. Read morePublished on June 18, 2004
Bork is a precise legal surgeon. He slices the body politic open to expose the spreading cancer of judicial activism. Read morePublished on March 18, 2004 by rodboomboom