Is the American judiciary still the "least dangerous branch," as Alexander Hamilton and legal scholar Alexander Bickel characterized it? Unlike legislatures or administrative agencies, courts do not make policy so much as direct and redirect policy as it is implemented. The judicial contribution to policymaking involves the infusion of constitutional rights into the realm of public policy, and as the government has grown, the courts have become more powerful from doing more and more of this. Powers and Rothman explore the impact of the federal courts, providing a brief account of the development of constitutional law and an overview of the judiciary's impact in six controversial areas of public policy. BLBusing BLAffirmative action BLPrison reform BLMental health reform BLProcedural reforms in law enforcement BLElectoral redistricting In each of these areas, the authors review significant cases that bear on the particular policy, exploring the social science evidence to assess the impact of the courts on policies-and the consequences of that intervention. Powers and Rothman conclude that judicial intervention in public policy has often brought about undesirable consequences, sometimes even for the intended beneficiaries of government intervention.