Noah Zatz Weighs Democracy without Law

Noah Zatz (’01), Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, contributed an article to the Law and Political Economy Project’s LPE Blog examining democracy, law, and courts — in particular, certain law-is-just-politics views — in the wake of threats to democracy (“Democracy Without Law?” Oct. 24). “My point, more narrowly, is simply that romantic invocations of democratic politics provide no strict alternative. Actual legal decision-making is often—rightly—criticized for usurping democracy, but nonetheless it is mysterious how a robust democracy could do without law. Without it, democratic decisions cannot ‘stick.’ In this way, democratic critics of our actual legal institutions need an affirmative account of better ways to do and understand law. . . . If law is a fool’s errand, then so much the worse for democracy.”