More like Constitutional Law for a Changing America
Daryl Atkins’s situation was far from being resolved though. Prosecutors claimed that Atkins failed to meet the statutory definition of mental retardation and reinstituted procedures to carry out his death sentence. Back in circuit court, the jury returned its verdict: Daryl Atkins was not retarded. Atkins’s attorneys promptly filed a notice of appeal, and the case continues today.
Drawing on interviews with key participants; direct observation of the hearings; and close examination of court documents, transcripts, and press accounts, Thomas G. Walker provides readers with a rare view of the entire judicial process. Never losing sight of the stakes in a death penalty case, he explains each step in Atkins’s legal journey from the interactions of local law enforcement, to the decision-making process of the state prosecutor, to the Supreme Court’s ruling, and beyond. Walker sheds light on how legal institutions and procedures work in real life—and how they are all interrelated—to help students better understand constitutional issues, the courts, and the criminal justice system. Throughout, Walker also addresses how disability, race, and other key demographic and social issues affect the case and society’s views on the death penalty.
Choices is a thought-provoking, yet nontechnical work that is an ideal supplement for judicial process and public law courses. In addition to offering a unique and sustained theoretical account, the authors tell a fascinating story of how the Court works. Data culled from the Court's public records and from the private papers of Justices Brennan, Douglas, Marshall, and Powell provide empirical evidence to support the central argument, while numerous examples from the justices' papers animate the work.
What can be done to stop this relentless march of drabbery? Nothing. But perhaps this book can be used to dull the pain. Included herein:
The Ten Worst Films of All Time, as Reviewed by Ezra Pound over Italian Radio
Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One.
How Important Moments in My Life Would Have Been Different If I Was Shot in the Stomach
My Beard, Reviewed
Circumstances under Which I Would Have Sex with Some of My Fellow Jurors
Words That Would Make Nice Names for Babies, If It Weren't for Their Unsuitable Meanings
As a Porn Movie Titler, I May Lack Promise
Ineffective Ways to Subdue a Jaguar
Eleven Lunch Meats I Have Invented
Four Things I Would Have Said to Sylvia Plath if I Had Been Her Boyfriend
And much, much more, including 20 brilliant new lists . . .
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book's five parts cover subjects taught in most judicial politics courses. Because each chapter stands alone, instructors have the flexibility of assigning less than the whole book or chapters in a different order. Topics examined range from information used by voters electing judges to the credibility of victims of sexualized violence.
Accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Contemplating Courts offers fascinating views into both the law and courts field and the research process itself. Epstein provides in the first chapter an overview of the key elements of judicial process research and defines key terms. Technical notes and methodology appendices offer students additional guidance.
From the moment John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, blundered through the Oath of Office at Barack Obama's inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been confrontational. Both men are young, brilliant, charismatic, charming, determined to change the course of the nation—and completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue. One is radical; one essentially conservative. The surprise is that Obama is the conservative—a believer in incremental change, compromise, and pragmatism over ideology. Roberts—and his allies on the Court—seek to overturn decades of precedent: in short, to undo the ultimate victory FDR achieved in the New Deal.
This ideological war will crescendo during the 2011-2012 term, in which several landmark cases are on the Court's docket—most crucially, a challenge to Obama's controversial health-care legislation. With four new justices joining the Court in just five years, including Obama's appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, this is a dramatically—and historically—different Supreme Court, playing for the highest of stakes.
No one is better positioned to chronicle this dramatic tale than Jeffrey Toobin, whose prize-winning bestseller The Nine laid bare the inner workings and conflicts of the Court in meticulous and entertaining detail. As the nation prepares to vote for President in 2012, the future of the Supreme Court will also be on the ballot.
Attorney and journalist Amy Bach spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America. What she found was an assembly-line approach to justice: a system that rewards mediocre advocacy, bypasses due process, and shortchanges both defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving.
Here is the public defender who pleads most of his clients guilty with scant knowledge about their circumstances; the judge who sets outrageous bail for negligible crimes; the prosecutor who habitually declines to pursue significant cases; the court that works together to achieve a wrongful conviction. Going beyond the usual explanations of bad apples and meager funding, Ordinary Injustice reveals a clubby legal culture of compromise, and shows the tragic consequences that result when communities mistake the rules that lawyers play by for the rule of law. It is time, Bach argues, to institute a new method of checks and balances that will make injustice visible—the first and necessary step to reform.
It is a world of instant communications, lightning-fast commerce, and shared problems (like public health threats and environmental degradation), and it is one in which the lives of Americans are routinely linked ever more pervasively to those of people in foreign lands. Indeed, at a moment when anyone may engage in direct transactions internationally for services previously bought and sold only locally (lodging, for instance, through online sites), it has become clear that, even in ordinary matters, judicial awareness can no longer stop at the water’s edge.
To trace how foreign considerations have come to inform the thinking of the Court, Justice Breyer begins with that area of the law in which they have always figured prominently: national security in its constitutional dimension—how should the Court balance this imperative with others, chiefly the protection of basic liberties, in its review of presidential and congressional actions? He goes on to show that as the world has grown steadily “smaller,” the Court’s horizons have inevitably expanded: it has been obliged to consider a great many more matters that now cross borders. What is the geographical reach of an American statute concerning, say, securities fraud, antitrust violations, or copyright protections? And in deciding such matters, can the Court interpret American laws so that they might work more efficiently with similar laws in other nations?
While Americans must necessarily determine their own laws through democratic process, increasingly, the smooth operation of American law—and, by extension, the advancement of American interests and values—depends on its working in harmony with that of other jurisdictions. Justice Breyer describes how the aim of cultivating such harmony, as well as the expansion of the rule of law overall, with its attendant benefits, has drawn American jurists into the relatively new role of “constitutional diplomats,” a little remarked but increasingly important job for them in this fast-changing world.
Written with unique authority and perspective, The Court and the World reveals an emergent reality few Americans observe directly but one that affects the life of every one of us. Here is an invaluable understanding for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
From the Hardcover edition.
From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.
This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change, and technological progress mean that the court's decisions on key topics—including free speech, privacy, voting rights, and presidential power—could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government. Tribe—one of the country's leading constitutional lawyers—and Matz dig deeply into the court's recent rulings, stepping beyond tired debates over judicial "activism" to draw out hidden meanings and silent battles. The undercurrents they reveal suggest a strikingly different vision for the future of our country, one that is sure to be hotly debated.
Filled with original insights and compelling human stories, Uncertain Justice illuminates the most colorful story of all—how the Supreme Court and the Constitution frame the way we live.
Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America's electric power. But wealth and influence weren't enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company's mines—in which scores died unnecessarily.
As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens while he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal mining country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship's tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law.
The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it's true, it's scarier than fiction.
If the U.S. Supreme Court teaches us anything, it is that almost everything is open to interpretation. Almost. But what's inarguable is that, while the Court has witnessed a succession of larger-than-life jurists in its two-hundred-year-plus history, it has never seen the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Combative yet captivating, infuriating yet charming, the outspoken jurist remains a source of curiosity to observers across the political spectrum and on both sides of the ideological divide. And after nearly a quarter century on the bench, Scalia may be at the apex of his power. Agree with him or not, Scalia is "the justice who has had the most important impact over the years on how we think and talk about the law," as the Harvard law dean Elena Kagan, now U.S. Solicitor General, once put it.
Scalia electrifies audiences: to hear him speak is to remember him; to read his writing is to find his phrases permanently affixed in one's mind. But for all his public grandstanding, Scalia has managed to elude biographers—until now. In American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the veteran Washington journalist Joan Biskupic presents for the first time a detailed portrait of this complicated figure and provides a comprehensive narrative that will engage Scalia's adherents and critics alike. Drawing on her long tenure covering the Court, and on unprecedented access to the justice, Biskupic delves into the circumstances of his rise and the formation of his rigorous approach to the bench. Beginning with the influence of Scalia's childhood in a first-generation Italian American home, American Original takes us through his formative years, his role in the Nixon-Ford administrations, and his trajectory through the Reagan revolution. Biskupic's careful reporting culminates with the tumult of the contemporary Supreme Court—where it was and where it's going, with Scalia helping to lead the charge.
Even as Democrats control the current executive and legislative branches, the judicial branch remains rooted in conservatism. President Obama will likely appoint several new justices to the Court—but it could be years before those appointees change the tenor of the law. With his keen mind, authoritarian bent, and contentious rhetorical style, Scalia is a distinct and persuasive presence, and his tenure is far from over. This new book shows us the man in power: his world, his journey, and the far-reaching consequences of the transformed legal landscape.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
uring Chief Justice Roberts’s first seven terms on the Supreme Court of the United States, he distinguished himself as a fair-minded jurist and a true constitutional scholar—a man seemingly committed to the rule of law and to core constitutional principles. That hard-earned distinction was turned on its head when, on June 28, 2012, the Chief Justice—writing for a five-to-four majority in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebilius—essentially re-wrote key provisions of Obamacare in order to uphold the law, and allow it to be approved, in the face of a justified constitutional challenge.
Now United States Senator Mike Lee presents a conservative critique of this controversial ruling, and explains why John Roberts in particular was wrong to vote to preserve the act. In an attempt to be perceived as fair in the mainstream media, Roberts allowed himself to be swayed by outside influences -- influences to which a Supreme Court justice is supposed to be absolutely immune. Not only that, Senator Lee explains, Roberts conceded that much of the Obamacare act was unconstitutional; yet he instructed states simply to ignore those parts, instead of recognizing that those parts made the entire act invalid.
A smart, fair and evenhanded argument, Why John Roberts Was Wrong provides a definitive, concise argument against Obamacare.
Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong have pierced its secrecy to give us an unprecedented view of the Chief and Associate Justices—maneuvering, arguing, politicking, compromising, and making decisions that affect every major area of American life.
Chief Justice Rehnquist’s engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall’s dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Citing cases such as the Dred Scott decision and Roosevelt's Court-packing plan, Rehnquist makes clear that the Court does not operate in a vacuum, that the justices are unavoidably influenced by their surroundings, and that their decisions have real and lasting impacts on our society. The public often hears little about the Supreme Court until decisions are handed down. Here, Rehnquist reveals its inner workings--the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place. With grace and wit, this incisive history gives a dynamic and informative account of the most powerful court in the nation and how it has shaped the direction America has taken.
Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself--and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized--in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House.
Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation. In a new preface, Howell reflects on presidential power during the presidency of Barack Obama.
In Justice for All, Jim Newton, an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, brings readers the first truly comprehensive consideration of Earl Warren, the politician-turned-Chief Justice who refashioned the place of the court in American life through landmark Supreme Court cases whose names have entered the common parlance -- Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Miranda v. Arizona, to name just a few. Drawing on unmatched access to government, academic, and private documents pertaining to Warren's life and career, Newton explores a fascinating angle of U.S. Supreme Court history while illuminating both the public and the private Warren.
No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Constitutional Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one's political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.
Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes's journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends.
Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Great Dissent is intellectual history at its best, revealing how free debate can alter the life of a man and the legal landscape of an entire nation.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
Unlike longer, more expensive competing works, The Dynamics of Law presents its subject with clarity and precision, and minimal use of legal terms. It offers clear explanations of how to brief a case and how statutes and regulations are codified in the United States. Study problems and review questions in each chapter, drawn from legal literature as well as general interest articles and books, are designed to stimulate classroom discussion.
Drawing on unprecedented access to the Supreme Court justices themselves and their inner circles, acclaimed ABC News legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg offers an explosive newsbreaking account of one of the most momentous political watersheds in American history. From the series of Republican nominations that proved deeply frustrating to conservatives to the decades of bruising battles that led to the rise of Justices Roberts and Alito, this is the authoritative story of the conservative effort to shift the direction of the high court—a revelatory look at one of the central fronts of America's culture wars by one of the most widely respected experts on the subject.
"A fresh and detailed account of how the court works and, relatedly, how presidents decide who gets there. . . . A tour de force." -The Wall Street Journal
"A fascinating look at dynamics within the court, showing how personalities and ideology can affect alliances and debates." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
In Chambers offers a variety of perspectives on the unique experience of Supreme Court clerks. Former law clerks—including Alan M. Dershowitz, Charles A. Reich, and J. Harvie Wilkinson III—write about their own clerkships, painting vivid and detailed pictures of their relationships with the justices, while other authors write about the various clerkships for a single justice, putting a justice's practice into a broader context. The book also includes essays about the first African American and first woman to hold clerkships. Sharing their insights, anecdotes, and experiences in a clear, accessible style, the contributors provide readers with a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Supreme Court.
Drawing on a nationally representative survey, James Gibson and Gregory Caldeira use the Alito confirmation fight as a window into public attitudes about the nation's highest court. They find that Americans know far more about the Supreme Court than many realize, that the Court enjoys a great deal of legitimacy among the American people, that attitudes toward the Court as an institution generally do not suffer from partisan or ideological polarization, and that public knowledge enhances the legitimacy accorded the Court. Yet the authors demonstrate that partisan and ideological infighting that treats the Court as just another political institution undermines the considerable public support the institution currently enjoys, and that politicized confirmation battles pose a grave threat to the basic legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
For decades, Pulitzer Prize-winner James MacGregor Burns has been one of the great masters of the study of power and leadership in America. In Packing the Court, he turns his eye to the U.S. Supreme Court, an institution that he believes has become more powerful, and more partisan, than the founding fathers ever intended. In a compelling and provocative narrative, Burns reveals how the Supreme Court has served as a reactionary force in American politics at critical moments throughout the nation's history, and concludes with a bold proposal to rein in the court's power.
A Washington Post Notable Work of Nonfiction
A Slate Best Book of 2014
The inside story of the Supreme Court decisions that brought true democracy to the United States
As chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren is most often remembered for landmark rulings in favor of desegregation and the rights of the accused. But Warren himself identified a lesser known group of cases—Baker v. Carr, Reynolds v. Sims, and their companions—as his most important work. J. Douglas Smith's On Democracy's Doorstep masterfully recounts the tumultuous and often overlooked events that established the principle of "one person, one vote" in the United States.
Before the Warren Court acted, American democracy was in poor order. As citizens migrated to urban areas, legislative boundaries remained the same, giving rural lawmakers from sparsely populated districts disproportionate political power—a power they often used on behalf of influential business interests. Smith shows how activists ranging from city boosters in Tennessee to the League of Women Voters worked to end malapportionment, incurring the wrath of chambers of commerce and southern segregationists as they did so. Despite a conspiracy of legislative inaction and a 1946 Supreme Court decision that instructed the judiciary not to enter the "political thicket," advocates did not lose hope. As Smith shows, they skillfully used the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause to argue for radical judicial intervention. Smith vividly depicts the unfolding drama as Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy pressed for change, Solicitor General Archibald Cox cautiously held back, young clerks pushed the justices toward ever-bolder reform, and the powerful Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen obsessively sought to reverse the judicial revolution that had upended state governments from California to Virginia.
Today, following the Court's recent controversial decisions on voting rights and campaign finance, the battles described in On Democracy's Doorstep have increasing relevance. With erudition and verve, Smith illuminates this neglected episode of American political history and confronts its profound consequences.
Drawing on the world of scholarship and from personal experience, Robert A. Katzmann examines governance in judicial-congressional relations. After identifying problems, he offers ways to improve understanding between the two branches.
Copublished with the Governance Institute
From 1970 to 1994, Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1908-1999) wrote numerous landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Roe v. Wade, and participated in the most contentious debates of his era-all behind closed doors. In Becoming Justice Blackmun, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times draws back the curtain on America's most private branch of government and reveals the backstage story of the Supreme Court through the eyes and writings of this extraordinary justice.
Greenhouse was the first print reporter to have access to Blackmun's extensive archive and his private and public papers. From this trove she has crafted a compelling narrative of Blackmun's years on the Court, showing how he never lost sight of the human beings behind the legal cases and how he was not afraid to question his own views on such controversial issues as abortion, the death penalty, and sex discrimination. Greenhouse also tells the story of how Blackmun's lifelong friendship with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger withered in the crucible of life on the nation's highest court, revealing how political differences became personal, even for the country's most respected jurists.
Becoming Justice Blackmun, written by America's preeminent Supreme Court reporter, offers a rare and wonderfully vivid portrait of the nation's highest court, including insights into many of the current justices. It is a must-read for everyone who cares about the Court and its impact on our lives.
We see the system through the eyes of the men and women who experience it, not only in the courtroom but in the lockup, the jury room, the judge’s chambers, the spectators’ gallery. When the judge and his staff go to the scene of the crime during a burglary trial, we go with them on the sheriff’s bus. We witness from behind the scenes the highest-profile case of the year: three young white men, one of them the son of a reputed mobster, charged with the racially motivated beating of a thirteen-year-old black boy. And we follow the cases that are the daily grind of the court, like that of the middle-aged man whose crack addiction brings him repeatedly back before the judge.
Bogira shows us how the war on drugs is choking the system, and how in most instances justice is dispensed–as, under the circumstances, it must be–rapidly and mindlessly. The stories that unfold in the courtroom are often tragic, but they no longer seem so to the people who work there. Says a deputy in 302: “You hear this stuff every day, and you’re like, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s get this over with and move on to the next thing.’”
Steve Bogira is, as Robert Caro says, “a masterful reporter.” His special gift is his understanding of people–and his ability to make us see and understand them. Fast-paced, gripping, and bursting with character and incident, Courtroom 302 is a unique illumination of our criminal court system that raises fundamental issues of race, civil rights, and justice.
From the Hardcover edition.
FLOUTING OF FEDERAL LAW * CORRUPTION * VIOLATING CAMPAIGN FINANCE REGULATIONS * TERRORIST TIES * VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD * GOVERNMENT CON GAMES * EXTORTION
BECAUSE NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!
In 2008, Barack Obama made a promise to have the “most transparent administration” of any U.S. president; it was the very cornerstone of his campaign. No secrets. No masks. No smoke and mirrors. No excuses. But over the next four years, President Obama’s administration would prove to be one of the most guarded and duplicitous of our time.
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, America’s largest nonpartisan government watchdog (challenging George W. Bush as well as Bill Clinton), has been investigating Obama ever since he splashed onto the national scene in 2006. Now Fitton exposes devastating secrets the Obama administration has desperately fought—even in court—to keep from the American public. For a while, the Obama stonewall seemed to be holding. Until now. And the revelations are astonishing.
Judicial Watch has unearthed the truth behind such high-profile issues as the bailouts, Obamacare, Guantanamo, Obama’s true ties to Bill Ayers and to the Black Panthers voting intimidation scandal, and the Constitution-defying government czars. He reveals Obama’s personal war against FOX News, his real link to ACORN, and his radical Chicago connections. Through scores of smoking-gun government files, some replicated here and many unearthed after lengthy court battles, Fitton also discloses the facts of the Obama-backed $535-million loan guarantee to Solyndra, promoted by the president as a model for economic recovery—only months before its disastrous bankruptcy filing. Here too is the truth behind the gunrunning scandal, code-named Fast and Furious, which was a program generated in secrecy by the U.S. government that supplied thousands of firearms to murderous criminals in Mexico—an unconscionable act, and only one in a series of historical lows for an administration that few, if any, major media in this country dare to expose. This book details how the Obama machine is aggressively employing Chicago-style tactics to steal, if necessary, the 2012 elections. And how Judicial Watch is prepared to go to court with historic lawsuits to make sure the elections are fair and honest.
Why do Obama supporters turn a blind eye to his astoundingly unethical and abusive approach to governing this country? The Corruption Chronicles boldly, honestly, and factually makes the case that the federal government is now off the rails and out of control, and has literally built its foundation on broken promises, fatal miscalculations, and a cynical manipulation of its trusting public. But it’s not over. Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch are proof that the Tea Party approach to government corruption can make a difference. A grassroots group can take on the president, the Congress, and the judiciary, and finally force the government to be held accountable. The uncontestable facts are here, in The Corruption Chronicles. To see what is true, you only have to look.
THE FULLY DOCUMENTED FACTS BEHIND:
• The Solyndra Debacle
• Obama’s Watergate: Operation Fast and Furious
• The Obama Administration’s $20 Billion Government Extortion Scheme
• The Unprecedented Threat to the Integrity of the 2012 Elections
• The Czar Investigation Stonewall
• The Undermining of Our Nation’s Immigration Laws
• 9/11 Secrets
It's a conflict that cuts across the political spectrum in surprising ways and makes for some unusual bedfellows. Judicial deference is not only a touchstone of the Progressive left, for example, it is also a philosophy adopted by many members of the modern right. Today's growing camp of libertarians, however, has no patience with judicial restraint and little use for majority rule. They want the courts and judges to police the other branches of government, and expect Justices to strike down any state or federal law that infringes on their bold constitutional agenda of personal and economic freedom.
Overruled is the story of two competing visions, each one with its own take on what role the government and the courts should play in our society, a fundamental debate that goes to the very heart of our constitutional system.
Recent changes in the Supreme Court have placed the venerable institution at the forefront of current affairs, making this comprehensive and engaging work as timely as ever. In the tradition of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, Peter Irons chronicles the decisions that have influenced virtually every aspect of our society, from the debates over judicial power to controversial rulings in the past regarding slavery, racial segregation, and abortion, as well as more current cases about school prayer, the Bush/Gore election results, and "enemy combatants." To understand key issues facing the supreme court and the current battle for the court's ideological makeup, there is no better guide than Peter Irons. This revised and updated edition includes a foreword by Howard Zinn.
"A sophisticated narrative history of the Supreme Court . . . [Irons] breathes abundant life into old documents and reminds readers that today's fiercest arguments about rights are the continuation of the endless American conversation." -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
In The Will of the People, Barry Friedman challenges that claim by showing that the Court has always been subject to a higher power: the American public. Judicial positions have been abolished, the justices' jurisdiction has been stripped, the Court has been packed, and unpopular decisions have been defied. For at least the past sixty years, the justices have made sure that their decisions do not stray too far from public opinion.
Friedman's pathbreaking account of the relationship between popular opinion and the Supreme Court—from the Declaration of Independence to the end of the Rehnquist court in 2005—details how the American people came to accept their most controversial institution and shaped the meaning of the Constitution.
“Thorough, dispassionate, and immensely readable.” —Floyd Abrams
On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on how much money individuals could contribute to political candidates, parties, and committees. The McCutcheon v. FEC decision fundamentally changes how people (and corporations, thanks to Citizens United) can fund campaigns, opening the floodgates for millions of dollars in new spending, which had been curtailed by campaign finance laws going back to the early 1970s.
When Money Speaks is the definitive—and the first—book to explain and dissect the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in McCutcheon, including analysis of the tumultuous history of campaign finance law in the U.S. and the new legal and political repercussions likely to be felt from the Court’s decision.
McCutcheon has been billed as “the sequel to Citizens United,” the decision giving corporations the same rights as individuals to contribute to political campaigns. Lauded by the Right as a victory for free speech, and condemned by the Left as handing the keys of our government to the rich and powerful, the Court’s ruling has inflamed a debate that is not going to go away anytime soon, with demands for new laws and even a constitutional amendment on the Left—while many on the Right (including Justice Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion) call for an end to all contribution limits. Two of the nation’s top First Amendment scholars—Ronald Collins and David Skover—have produced a highly engaging, incisive account of the case, including exclusive interviews with petitioner Shaun McCutcheon and other key players, as well as an eye-opening history of campaign finance law in the U.S.
Offering a compelling courtroom drama and an intimate and sometimes humorous portrait of a fractious jury, A Trial by Jury is also a finely nuanced examination of law and justice, personal responsibility and civic duty, and the dynamics of power and authority between twelve equal people.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Today we assume that when the Court rules, the public will obey. But Breyer declares that we cannot take the public’s confidence in the Court for granted. He reminds us that at various moments in our history, the Court’s decisions were disobeyed or ignored. And through investigations of past cases, concerning the Cherokee Indians, slavery, and Brown v. Board of Education, he brilliantly captures the steps—and the missteps—the Court took on the road to establishing its legitimacy as the guardian of the Constitution.
Justice Breyer discusses what the Court must do going forward to maintain that public confidence and argues for interpreting the Constitution in a way that works in practice. He forcefully rejects competing approaches that look exclusively to the Constitution’s text or to the eighteenth-century views of the framers. Instead, he advocates a pragmatic approach that applies unchanging constitutional values to ever-changing circumstances—an approach that will best demonstrate to the public that the Constitution continues to serve us well. The Court, he believes, must also respect the roles that other actors—such as the president, Congress, administrative agencies, and the states—play in our democracy, and he emphasizes the Court’s obligation to build cooperative relationships with them.
Finally, Justice Breyer examines the Court’s recent decisions concerning the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, contrasting these decisions with rulings concerning the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. He uses these cases to show how the Court can promote workable government by respecting the roles of other constitutional actors without compromising constitutional principles.
Making Our Democracy Work is a tour de force of history and philosophy, offering an original approach to interpreting the Constitution that judges, lawyers, and scholars will look to for many years to come. And it further establishes Justice Breyer as one of the Court’s greatest intellectuals and a leading legal voice of our time.
From the Hardcover edition.
This classic volume, first published in 1928, originated in a series of articles written by Frankfurter, then a professor of law at Harvard University, and his student, Landis, for the Harvard Law Review. These articles chronicled and analyzed the many judiciary acts that were passed between 1789 and 1925, and illuminated the intimate connection between form and substance in the life of American law. For instance: When a community first decided to enact zoning laws--the Supreme Court had to approve. When the United States made a treaty with Germany following World War I--the Supreme Court had to define the limits and meaning of the treaty.
Newly reissued with an introduction by constitutional expert Richard G. Stevens, The Business of the Supreme Court is still as fresh and relevant today as it was when first published. It is a work that will aid the student of the law to both love the law and remain true to its purposes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“I called this book Out of Order because it reflects my goal, which is to share a different side of the Supreme Court. Most people know the Court only as it exists between bangs of the gavel, when the Court comes to order to hear arguments or give opinions. But the stories of the Court and the Justices that come from the ‘out of order’ moments add to the richness of the Court as both a branch of our government and a human institution.”—Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land.
Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices who also served as trial judges traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury v. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the Court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress.
With unparalleled insight and her unique perspective as a history-making figure, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of Justices in history, including Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of the greatest jurists of all time; Thurgood Marshall, whose understated and succinct style would come to transform oral argument; William O. Douglas, called “The Lone Ranger” because of his impassioned and frequent dissents; and John Roberts, whom Justice O’Connor considers to be the finest practitioner of oral argument she has ever witnessed in Court. We get a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the Justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next—from the seating arrangements at Court lunches to the fiercely competitive basketball games played in the Court Building’s top-floor gymnasium, the so-called “highest court in the land.”
Wise, candid, and assured, Out of Order is a rich offering of inspiring stories of one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers.
Praise for Out of Order
“[A] succinct, snappy account of how today’s court—so powerful, so controversial and so frequently dissected by the media—evolved from such startlingly humble and uncertain beginnings.”—The New York Times
“A brief and accessible history of the nation’s highest court, narrated by a true historical figure and a jurisprudential giant.”—The Boston Globe
“A vibrantly personal book [that] displays O’Connor’s uncommon common sense, her dry wit and her reverence for the nation’s institutions.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Full of riveting anecdotes . . . a compact history . . . albeit a more lighthearted, personality-filled one than you might find in a high school classroom.”—Associated Press
From the Hardcover edition.
By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. SIX AMENDMENTS is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.
Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens's own Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, SIX AMENDMENTS is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.
When advocates for marriage equality sought to challenge California’s notorious Proposition 8, they were fortunate to have the support of two of the nation’s preeminent lawyers, David Boies and Theodore B. Olson. Despite the fact that they had argued against one another in the landmark Bush v. Gore case, their commitment to the marriage issue led them to join forces, ultimately defeating the unconstitutional proposition in the Supreme Court after a nearly five-year battle. Redeeming the Dream is the definitive inside account of the key civil rights struggle of our time.
First published in 1833, this work is generally considered to be the most important work written on the American Constitution before the Civil War, and it remains an important work. Dedicated to John Marshall, it presents a strongly Nationalist interpretation. It is divided into three books. Book I contains a history of the colonies and discussion of their charters. Book II discusses the Continental Congress and analyzes the fl aws that crippled the Articles of Confederation. Book III begins with a history of the Constitution and its ratification. This is followed by a brilliant line-by-line exposition of each of its articles and amendments. Comparing it to The Federalist, James Kent said that Story's work was "written in the same free and liberal spirit, with equal exactness and soundness of doctrine, and with great beauty and eloquence of composition.... Whoever seeks...a complete history and exposition of this branch of our jurisprudence, will have recourse to this] work, which is written with great candor, and characterized by extended research, and a careful examination of the vital principles upon which our government reposes." cited in Marvin, Legal Bibliography 669-670.
Apart from James Kent, no man has had greater influence on the development of American law than Joseph Story 1779-1845]. He was Dane Professor of Law at Harvard, where he played a key role in the growth of the school and the establishment of its national eminence. His many books have been cited extensively to this day. An associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1812 to 1845, and the youngest person ever to serve on the Court, he was the author of several landmark decisions, such as Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and Prigg v. Pennsylvania.
My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women.