Lawrence Sager — Justice in Plainclothes: A Theory of American Constitutional Practice

In his forthcoming book, Justice in Plainclothes: A Theory of American Constitutional Practice (Yale University Press, Summer 2004), Sager offers a lucid understanding and compelling defense of American constitutional practice. Sager treats judges as active partners in the enterprise of securing the fundamentals of political justice and sees the process of constitutional adjudication as a promising and distinctly democratic addition.

Sager is author of many articles that are now classics in the canon of legal scholarship, including "Fair Measure: The Legal Status of Underenforced Constitutional Norms" (Harvard Law Review, 1978), "Foreword: Constitutional Limitations on Congress' Authority to Regulate the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts" (Harvard Law Review, 1981), "Unpacking the Court" (Yale Law Journal, 1986), "The Incorrigible Constitution" (New York University Law Review, 1990), and "The One and the Many: Adjudication in Collegial Courts" (California Law Review, 1993)


"This book is elegantly written, subtly argued, and full of interesting asides and original observations."
–Michael Seidman, Georgetown University Law School

"Justice in Plainclothes brilliantly demonstrates how our constitutional practice, viewed in its best light, mediates and reconciles our fundamental commitments to popular politics and judicial judgment, present autonomy and historical continuity, pragmatic policy and moral principle, and, ultimately, law and justice."
–Daryl Levinson, New York University School of Law

"A unique and powerful vision of the Constitution, envisioning constitutionalism itself as an ongoing and inclusive democratic project."
–John Ferejohn, Carolyn S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"In this carefully plotted, lucidly argued, and timely book, Sager makes a formidable case for the democratic superiority of a 'justice-seeking' conception of American constitutionalism over populist rivals."
–Frank Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University

Read an excerpt from Justice in Plainclothes, published in the Spring 2004 UT Law magazine.