THE SUPREME COURT: Palladium of Freedom by Alpheus Thomas Mason

THE SUPREME COURT: Palladium of Freedom

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Man's continued freedom, it seems true to say, depends very largely on his unfettered right to dissent. Though our system of government is one based on majority rule, and though our government speaks and acts in the name of the collective we of a republican system, it seems clear that we must protect the right of minority participation. For, in the words of Professor Mason, the ""majority must leave open the political channels by which it can be replaced when no longer able to command popular support."" The Supreme Court is that branch of government designed to safeguard the rights of the individual and to keep open the channels of representative government. The instrument through which the Court can so act is judicial review. The first four chapters of Mr. Mason's book cover the three major doctrines on which American freedom rests: revolution, bill of rights, and judicial review. These pages provide the necessary introduction to the author's forceful and closely reasoned defense of the present court. By demonstrating the dangers to our system inherent in legislation which restricts the political processes, or affects particular religious or national or racial minorities, the author, in chapters five and six, demonstrates the consistency of shrinking from the exertion of judicial supremacy by the Hughes' court, and then accepting the equally powerful judicial assertions of the Warren Court. Every Senator and Congressman who has ever cast his vote for the Jenner-Butler bill, every student of the law and politics, even individuals who value their own freedom, should read this book.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1962
Publisher: Univ. of Michigan