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the people and the court judicial review in a democracy by charles l black jr

The People and The Court : Judicial Review in a Democracy by Charles L. Black, Jr.


New York : MacMillan, 1960. First Printing. Stated. Hardcover. 238 pages ; 22 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Bookplate on front free endpaper. Pages are unmarked. Binding's firm.

The People and the Court is a timely analysis and defense of the functions of the Supreme Court in the context of the present controversy. It is a lively, readable account of the role of the judicial branch of the government, especially the Supreme Court, as the arbiter of constitutionality. Although written by a lawyer, it is intended primarily for citizens concerned about public affairs.

Starting with a historical sketch of the institution of judicial review, the author demonstrates through concrete examples not only its place in the system of "checks and balances," but its significance as the final legitimating agency of every governmental act within its scope. The Supreme Court frequently invalidates governmental measures on the ground that they are unconstitutional; no less important is its role in upholding other measures as consistent with our institutions and historical practice. The court thus serves as an organ of continuity in the life of our democracy, constantly referring to our expressed and implicit ideals.

While this book is not polemical in tone, Mr. Black does not hesitate in declaring his adherence to the institution of judicial review — the most unique and most characteristic feature of the American governmental system.

CHARLES L. BLACK was born in Austin, Texas, and received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas. He received his LL.B. from the Yale School of Law in 1943. He has practiced in a large New York law firm and has taught law at Columbia University, the Salzburg Seminar, and was for one year Visiting Professor at the University of Texas. Mr. Black is now Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale University.

With Grant Gilmore Mr. Black has written a previous book entitled The Law of Admiralty; he has published poetry, articles and hook reviews in leading magazines. He is First Vice-President of the Association on American Indian Affairs.

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