Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption and Incompetence on the Bench

Overview

Hear about the judge who got busted for selling crack? What about the judge who released from jail a felon who then promptly killed a rookie cop? Or the one who ordered a prison to supply its inmates with hot pots? In Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, investigative reporter Max Boot documents dozens of stories like these as he blows the whistle on the least publicized, the most destructive, branch of the government—the compelling statistics to support his belief that judges have ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $3.54   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Hear about the judge who got busted for selling crack? What about the judge who released from jail a felon who then promptly killed a rookie cop? Or the one who ordered a prison to supply its inmates with hot pots? In Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, investigative reporter Max Boot documents dozens of stories like these as he blows the whistle on the least publicized, the most destructive, branch of the government—the compelling statistics to support his belief that judges have greatly damaged both the criminal and civil justice systems.Boot criticizes well-known judges like Lance Ito, who presided over the O.J. Simpson follies, and Harold Baer, the New York judge who initially decided to exclude from evidence eighty pounds of drugs because he found nothing “unusual” about a courier fleeing from the cops. He reveals judges who have taken advantage of their office not only for personal gain, but also to gain greater political power.The “juristocracy,” as Boot calls it, has taken over the running of schools, prisons, and other institutions, with disastrous results: forced busing, which has led to white flight from inner-city schools; higher taxes, as judges have ordered more government spending, regardless of results; and greater social divisions, because judges have taken controversial issues like abortion out of the political arena. Rundowns of case after case reveal judges who have routinely overturned popular initiatives without legal right to do so, implemented controversial policies with no basis in law, and put millions of dollars into the pockets of undeserving plaintiffs.Following in the footsteps of the bestselling Death of Common Sense and Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Out of Order is a tightly reported, highly opinionated expose that should set off a national debate about the woeful state of our legal system. It also offers hope, by providing ways to improve the performance of the judiciary and reclaim its original role as servant of the people.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"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.
Library Journal
Boot, editorial features editor for the "Wall Street Journal", finds judges to be incompetent and corrupt; abusive of the particular trust that comes with their office, they advocate unacceptable social experimentation. Still, Boot can find some worthy judges. Federal district judge Richard Matsch of Denver is one even though he is mildly rebuked in Chapter 5 for his intervention in the Denver public school district. And that may be the true weakness of this book. Boot writes with such broad strokes as to become incredible. The compilers of one standard judicial directory, "The American Bench" (Foster-Long, 1997. 9th ed.), gathered more than 18,000 federal and state judicial biographies. Surely more than a mere handful are competent, ethical, and deserving of our trust. Yet it would be wrong to dismiss this book as unworthy. The concluding chapter advances a number of policy items that merit consideration: judicial term limits, e.g., limits on the jurisdiction of judges to hear constitutional challenges. This book will find favor with more conservative readers. Recommended generally for public libraries. Jerry E. Stephens, U.S. Court of Appeals Lib., Oklahoma City
Kirkus Reviews
A one-stop store of conservative complaints about the judiciary; in trying to eliminate lemons, the author mixes oranges and apples. "We need more public criticism and exposure to hold judges accountable for their actions," says Boot, who is editorial features editor for the "Wall Street Journal." Citing numerous examples culled from his years of reporting, he takes aim at what he identifies as judicial impropriety: favoring cronies, following ideological prejudice instead of legal precedent, permitting juries to impose enormous liability judgments, going easy on criminal defendants, usurping executive and legislative powers, refusing to follow the voters' will, and engaging in financial corruption. He lays blame on the judicial selection process, which rewards political loyalty above legal competence; at politicians who give judicial nominees too little scrutiny; and at the voters, who seldom pay any attention to elected judges' performance. Although Boot makes no secret of his rightward tilt (he thinks 'Brown v. Board of Education' was bad constitutional law, wants to discard the exclusionary rule on illegally obtained evidence, and seems never to have met a corporate defendant he didn't like), he's intellectually honest; for example, he criticizes conservative judges who have struck down affirmative-action programs crafted by state governments, and even rebukes some of the ideas propounded by Robert Bork, who wrote the book's foreword. But his foundation for lumping together examples of utterly different behaviors, that the courts "are trying to provide a remedy for every conceivable `victim' " is weak. In the end, the only element tying together the judge who takes bribes andthe one who gives pro-plaintiff jury instructions in a product-liability case is simply that Boot dislikes both forms of conduct. Neither a screed nor a "balanced" report, this well-written and often witty book should give zest to those who agree with Boot's biases and food for thought to those who disagree.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465053759
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Boot is a senior fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His writing has appeared in many publications, and he has twice been a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award. His previous book, Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, was published by Basic Books in 1998. He lives with his wife and three children in Westchester County, New York.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    From the opening chapter it appeared that this book was going to be an entertaining look at outliers in the judicial system. The devolution into tired, right wing whining about 'liberal judges' with 'no accountability' was sad. Especially considering many of the cases cited were overturned or set right by higher courts, thus proving that the system, while certainly imperfect, does work. The author should have just been honest and prepared the reader for a conservative take on activist and lenient judges rather than making a flimsy claim of journalistic or even-handed analysis.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)