""Judges have assumed unprecedented authority over our lives, usurping powers once delegated to elected lawmakers, based on no solid grounding in the text of either a statute or the Constitution itself,"" contends Wall Street Journal deputy features editor Boot. Though his somewhat right-leaning biases are occasionally visible beneath his research-based approach, Boot's strong writing and even-handed journalism make for a powerful case. (Former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's turgid introduction, full of references to ""radical egalitarianism,"" is one example of the less-than-transparent politics that inform the book.) With humor and wit, Boot describes a society caught up in a lottery mentality, whereby juries routinely make outrageous punitive damage awards on the flimsiest of cases, and judges--often politically savvy lawyers rather than judicious legal experts--fail to throw out frivolous cases and awards. Only a revision of the system by which we select and promote judges, Boot contends, is likely to change the situation. Boot's impressive grasp of the law and his wry, crystal-clear argumentation makes this book one that will be indispensable to anyone curious to know how we managed to turn our society into a gridlock of litigiousness. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998 Release date: 05/01/1998 Genre: Nonfiction
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