The sixteenth Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s classic book offers a lively and accessible history of the Supreme Court.
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.
About the author
William H. Rehnquist was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in political science from Stanford University and a second M.A. from Harvard. He graduated first in his class at Stanford Law School in 1952. In 1969 Rehnquist became assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Council. He was confirmed by the Senate as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in December 1971, and took his place on the bench in January 1972. He became the sixteenth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1986. Chief Justice Rehnquist died in 2005.
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