168th Commencement: Watch Live
The reviews are in for Professor Stephen Gottlieb's latest book,
Unfit for Democracy: The Roberts Court and the Breakdown of American Politics — and it's a hit.
Unfit for Democracy (New York University Press, Jan. 2016), Prof. Gottlieb takes a critical look at the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts, asserting that the interpretation of constitutional law should be applied with a focus on preserving the system of government put in place by our founding fathers.
"Gottlieb has written a stunning book about democracy," said Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. "This is a work about law, political science, and history and is filled with important insights about what causes democracies to succeed or fail. The book culminates in a forceful critique of the Roberts Court and how it has damaged American democracy. This is an important book, impressive in its scope and its analysis, and the cautions it offers for the future of democracy in the United States."
Duke Law Professor H. Jefferson Powell called the book practically "unique in its intellectual and global scope and ambition." Hamline University Professor David Schultz praised Gottlieb's "comprehensiveness and almost encyclopedic approach to discussing Supreme Court jurisprudence" while "providing a broader discussion of the conditions essential or at least associated with democracy."
Prof. Gottlieb, done with the lengthy process of writing and editing, will be discussing the book and the propositions in it before a number of audiences in the coming months.
On Monday, Jan. 25, he appeared on WAMC radio's "The Roundtable" to discuss
Unfit for Democracy and preview the following day's event, an hourlong conversation at Albany Law School with WAMC's Alan Chartock. The Jan. 26 sit-down — to be aired Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. on the National Public Radio affiliate — took place in front of a live audience.
Future dates include March 23 at the Humanities Institute for Lifelong Learning in Delmar, N.Y., and March 24 at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany. He'll be appearing for related discussions at the University of Maryland School of Law (March 4-5), and the University of Pennsylvania (May 24-25). Visit Prof. Gottlieb's blog for an updated list of appearances.
Prof. Gottlieb, Albany Law School's Jay and Ruth Caplan Distinguished Professor of Law, is the author of
Morality Imposed: The Rehnquist Court and the State of Liberty in America (NYU Press, 2000), co-author of
Jurisprudence Cases and Materials: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law and Its Applications (Third Edition, LexisNexis, 2015), and editor of
Public Values in Constitutional Law (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993). He's under contract with Carolina Academic Press for a forthcoming book,
Guide to the Birth of the American Constitution: Madison's Notes Supplemented with Tools and Explanations for Modern Readers.
As an expert on the Supreme Court, constitutional theory and election campaign law, Prof. Gottlieb has penned articles for the
New York University Law Review,
Yale Law & Policy Review,
Hastings Law Journal and
Boston University Law Review, among many others. He has held
chairs for distinguished visitors at Akron, Suffolk, Cleveland-Marshall
and Marquette schools of law, and he has also taught at St. Louis
University School of Law and West Virginia University College of Law.
At Albany Law School, Prof. Gottlieb teaches U.S. Supreme Court Watch and other courses related to the Constitution.
He also finds time to be a weekly commentator for WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, with segments touching on hot-button topics such as gun laws, Middle East politics, terrorism, and the global refugee crisis.
Gottlieb is a veteran of the legal services sector, the Peace Corps in
Iran and corporate practice in New York City. Educated at Princeton and
Yale Law School, he serves on the board of the Capital Region chapter of
the New York Civil Liberties Union.