Sunday, January 18, 2004

Who's in charge?...

In the U.S. our government is structured as a separation in shared power. It is not, as most think, a separation in powers. In his book, Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges, Robert Bork enlists a quote from James Madison, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.” Richard John Neuhaus reviews the book in The Public Square: The Culture Wars Go International, First Things, January 2004. Here's how Neuhaus starts off, "The defenders of judicial activism, properly understood as the judicial usurpation of politics, count on wearing down their critics over time. Robert H. Bork is not easily worn down." He quotes Bork, "Courts possess very potent powers, both coercive and moral. Although that power is asserted over an entire culture, it is not always dramatic because it proceeds incrementally, but since the increments accumulate, it is all the more potent for that. What judges have wrought is a coup d’etat—slow-moving and genteel, but a coup d’etat nonetheless." I have not read the book, but based on Neuhaus' review, it looks like a good read. I'm wondering if any other bloggers have read it and are willing to post about it?

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