Democracy and the Death of Knowledge

18 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2006

See all articles by Suzanna Sherry

Suzanna Sherry

Vanderbilt University - Law School


This essay was presented as the 2006 William Howard Taft lecture at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. It suggests that the conflation of politics and law - the view that judges are not legal experts but rather legislators in robes - is part of a deeper and more worrisome trend. We do not see judges as legal experts because we no longer believe in expertise. We have, in other words, begun to conflate politics and knowledge. We are moving toward a world in which the creation of knowledge is not the province of experts, but is instead produced by popular vote. This essay explores and critiques that trend.

Suggested Citation

Sherry, Suzanna, Democracy and the Death of Knowledge. University of Cincinnati Law Review, Vol. 75, p. 1053, 2007, Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 06-21, Available at SSRN:

Suzanna Sherry (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-322-0993 (Phone)

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