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The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton [Paperback]

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Item description for The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton by Roger Pilon...

Now that the Clinton Presidency has drawn to a close, political analysts and historians will study his administration and policies for some time to determine what his legacy will be.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.77 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
Publisher   Cato Institute
ISBN  1930865031  
ISBN13  9781930865037  

Availability  0 units.

More About Roger Pilon

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Roger Pilon is the founder and director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies, which has become an important force in the national debate over constitutional interpretation and judicial philosophy. He is the publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review and is an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University through The Fund for American Studies

Roger Pilon currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > United States
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > General
3Books > Subjects > Law > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Leadership
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Law > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton?

An introduction to the real Clinton scandals  Sep 9, 2003
This book is a collection of essays drawn from a conference in July 2000 held by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. Needless to say, the contributors have a pretty low opinion of the accomplishments of the Clinton Administration in regards to the rule of law, civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. Each chapter serves as a good introduction to the various assaults by Clinton on privacy, free speech, gun rights, and so on. As a primer, the book succeeds. It was nauseating to read of Clinton relentlessly championing unlimited government and the rule of man over the individual, freedom and common sense. Unfortunately, no chapter is able to go into depth on any of the subjects so one will have to go elsewhere for an in-depth expose on any of Clinton's appalling attacks on freedom that occurred regularly throughout his reign as head of Leviathan.

Of interest is the fact that a couple of the essays are written by people currently in the Bush Administration, including Ted Olson (currently Solicitor General) and Bill Pryor (appellate court nominee). Only time will tell if they were sincere in their respect for the rule of law, after they held the reigns of power.

Hopefully (and sadly) this will be the first of many such books, each one examining the latest administration?s attack on the Constitution. It certainly looks like the current administration is off to a rousing start with the USA PATRIOT Act.

Inconsistent - some great chapters, some poor  Apr 1, 2002
I'd have to take exception with the review below written by Steve Shaw. This book is not filled with big worded, mumbo-jumbo as he suggests. He may be good at reading Homer or Shakespeare. But apparently, he understands little of legal analysis, which is precisely the subject of this book.

That said, perhaps the book is not for the average reader. I have a law degree, so I find the legal analysis to be easily readible. Others may not.

But as a critical thinker, one certainly comes away from this book wanting better, less biased analysis. Some of the chapters are very well written and very well argued.

Others, however, are downright sloppy ... not worthy of a first year law student. One particularly poor chapter is written by none other than Ted Olsen - President Bush's Solicitor General (the person who aregues on behalf of the U.S. Government before the Supreme Court). This is disturbing, as it demostrates that Bush appointed a Solicitor General who so clearly has an ax to grind against Clinton, that his bias blinds him to the many gaps in logic in his own analysis.

In fact, Olsen's chapter is so poorly reasoned, I'd go so far as to suggest it was intentionally misleading. If Olsen wins any cases before the Rehnquist court, the "legal realist" will have much case law to support their beliefs.

The same critique particularly can be lobbed against the poorly written chapters by John Yoo and Daniel Troy, those others are also lacking.

But the initial chapeters in the book are both well written and well reasoned, which in some ways only makes the contrast with the mentioned chapters more stark.

One only hopes that after the Bush Presidency, the Cato Institute similarly puts out a book on "The Rule of Law in the Wake of Bush." For if the arguments are applied consistently and without bias, readers would come to learn that Bush is far more like Clinton than Al gore ever likely would have been! If Bush is held to the same standard to which the Cato Institute holds Clinton, then intellectual honesty would demand that they conclude that President Bush is doing far more damage to respect for the rule of law than his predecessor.

Ego stoking mumbo jumbo.  Oct 5, 2001
When I purchased this book I thought I was in for a treat. Being an avid reader on political/social issues, I have been treated to many great books. This is not one of them.

From the first page the book bogs itself down with many, many obscure words, and places them in sentences with many other obscure words. In the first 20 pages you will frequently ask yourself: "What in the world did I just read?". I found myself often re-reading pages over and over again to figure out exactly what the author's point was. Unfortunately, after 60 pages I gave up on trying to extract a point, and set this book aside.

Remember that pseudo-intellectual crowd from college? You know the ones...they rattle off endless strings of words that were pulled from deep, dark pages of a thesaurus, in an attempt to make themselves seem more intelligent. The essays in this book are all pseudo-intellectual babble. No insight. No challenging thought. Just pure ego stroking.

You may be saying: "The reviewer might...not have the capacity to handle material like this." Unfortunately for the author this is not the case. I have read everything from Homer to Shakespeare and Lao Tzu to Hemingway. I have a deep appreciation for literature, writing and critical thinking. I love good analysis spread across pages using elegant and clear text. This book is not clear. This book is horrid and unreadable, and virtually pointless.

If you want to get better acquainted with you thesaurus, please buy this book. If you want to learn about 'Law in the wake of Clinton', seek out other authors because you will find nothing decipherable here. The essays are not written to be read, they are written to impress. Obscure prose serves no one, for the meaning in context is easily lost. Be prepared to read, re-read and lose interest.

If you want a good book on life in the post-Clinton era that is well written and insightful, read 'The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America' by Philip K. Howard. It will motivate you to learn more. 'Law in the wake of Clinton' will will only cause eye-strain and brain drain.

Good Analysis of What Clinton Did and Why It's Bad  Aug 10, 2001
Given the stellar legal backgrounds of its contributors, I purchased this book expecting it to be more about the assault on the rule of law that has taken place over the last thirty years than about specific misdeeds of the Clinton Administration. To my surprise, these essayists do an exceptional job of addressing both issues.

As Pilon states in the introduction, the book explores the legal assault taking place on the ideas of limited government and individual rights. He explains that leaders can violate their Constitutional authority either by pursuing a legitimate end that is unconstitutional or by violating people's rights. He then introduces the thesis of the book-that members of Clinton's Administration worked to expand Presidential or congressional authority while oftentimes receiving only token opposition from many Congressional Republicans or members of the Supreme Court.

Some of the authors focus on steps taken by Clinton's staff to encroach upon congressional regulatory initiatives. For example, in his essay on "legislating via executive order," Douglas Kmiec points out that although Clinton did not break the record for most executive orders issued, he frequently refused to cite statutory authority for his actions. Kmiec explains that the Supreme Court has traditionally been willing to review questionable orders and that Clinton has, at times, done everything he could to find ways to reenact initiatives that were struck down.

James Wootton offers a similar analysis of the Justice Department's support of "regulation by litigation." Specifically, he focuses on how the department worked to impose liability on selected industries by weakening traditional legal rights over time. He concludes by pointing out that even Robert Reich eventually felt compelled to express his distaste for Justice's efforts to circumvent the democratic process.

The highlight of the book is clearly Senator Fred Thompson's discussion of how the inability of our political institutions to hold Clinton accountable for his role in the fundraising scandal of 1996 was so severe that it led many Constitutional scholars to question the efficacy of our legal system. He does an excellent job of explaining how the failure to apply the law to the highest-ranking officials in our nation has contributed to the cynicism people feel toward the democratic process. However, he concludes by offering a beacon of hope: "Perhaps it is true that we have begun to rely too much on the courts and legal processes to resolve matters that are best left to the political process, because that is where such issues are ultimately resolved in a democratic society. As frustrating and disheartening as it is to see a breakdown in the rule of law, we know that in the end the American people will have the final say. And we will always have the kind of government and rule of law that we deserve."

Pilon's collection contains stellar analyses of ongoing efforts to undermine the rule of law as well as abuses by Clinton's senior officials. It contains a powerful indictment not just of Clinton's supporters, but of all those who feel that our legal institutions should be trampled to abide by the unfettered will of the majority. It should be read by anyone interested in how our legal institutions are being sabotaged and what can be done to stop it.


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