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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." A comprehensive history of the people and cases that have changed history, this is the definitive account of the nation’s highest court.
The Supreme Court
Rehnquist, William H.
This edition of William H. Rehnquist's classic The Supreme Court includes new chapters on the New Deal and Warren Courts, and substantially enhances the success of the first edition in making the inner workings of the nation's highest court comprehensible to laymen. Rehnquist examines both the Court's history and its pivotal decisions. He conveys the importance of decisions like Marbury v. Madison and the Dred Scott case, how the decisions were reached, and the character of those involved. From personal portraits of legendary figures like Chief Justice Taney, to dynamic descriptions of events, like the fractious internal feuding of the 1940s, Rehnquist's account of the Court's evolution is as fascinating for its human element as it is for its historical insights.
Out of Order
O'Connor, Sandra Day
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.
The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America
Jeffrey Rosen recounts the history of the Supreme Court through the personal and philosophical rivalries that have transformed the law - and by extension, our lives. With studies of four crucial conflicts - Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson; post-Civil War justices John Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes; liberal icons Hugo Black and William O. Douglas; and conservative stalwarts William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia - Rosen brings vividly to life the perennial rivalry between those justices guided by strong ideology and those who cared more about the court as an institution, forging coalitions and adjusting to new realities. He ends with a revealing conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts, who is attempting to change the court in unexpected ways. The stakes, he shows, are nothing less than the future of American jurisprudence.
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