Supreme Court The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America

ISBN-10: 0805081828
ISBN-13: 9780805081824
Edition: 2006 (Revised)
List price: $25.00
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Description: A leading Supreme Court expert recounts the personal and philosophical rivalries that forged our nation's highest court and continue to shape our daily lives "The Supreme Court" is the most mysterious branch of government, and yet the Court is at  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication date: 1/9/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

A leading Supreme Court expert recounts the personal and philosophical rivalries that forged our nation's highest court and continue to shape our daily lives "The Supreme Court" is the most mysterious branch of government, and yet the Court is at root a human institution, made up of very bright people with very strong egos, for whom political and judicial conflicts often become personal. In this compelling work of character-driven history, Jeffrey Rosen recounts the history of the Court through the personal and philosophical rivalries on the bench that transformed the law--and by extension, our lives. The story begins with the great Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson, cousins from the Virginia elite whose differing visions of America set the tone for the Court's first hundred years. The tale continues after the Civil War with Justices John Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes, who clashed over the limits of majority rule. Rosen then examines the Warren Court era through the lens of the liberal icons Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, for whom personality loomed larger than ideology. He concludes with a pairing from our own era, the conservatives William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, only one of whom was able to build majorities in support of his views. Through these four rivalries, Rosen brings to life the perennial conflict that has animated the Court--between those justices guided by strong ideologyand those who forge coalitions and adjust to new realities. He illuminates the relationship between judicial temperament and judicial success or failure. The stakes are nothing less than the future of American jurisprudence.

Jeffrey Rosenis a professor of law at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also serves as legal editor for the New Republic and is the author of several books, including The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America(Times Books, 2007) and The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age(Random House, 2005). Benjamin Wittesis a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and served nine years as an editorial writer with the Washington Post. His previous books include Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor after Guant�namo(Brookings, 2010) and Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror(Penguin, 2008), and he is cofounder of the Lawfare blog (http://www.lawfareblog.com).

Introduction: A Question of Temperament
The Virginia Aristocrats
The Legacy of the Civil War
Liberty and License
Two Faces of Conservatism
Conclusion: The Future of Temperament
Cases Cited
Notes
Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Index

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