Antonin Scalia's Jurisprudence by Ralph A. RossumLionized by the right and demonized by the left, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is the high court's quintessential conservative. Witty, outspoken, often abrasive, he is widely regarded as the most controversial member of the Court. This book is the first comprehensive, reasoned, and sympathetic analysis of how Scalia has decided cases during his entire twenty-year Supreme Court tenure. Ralph Rossum focuses on Scalia's more than 600 Supreme Court opinions and dissents--carefully wrought, passionately argued, and filled with well-turned phrases--which portray him as an eloquent defender of an "original meaning" jurisprudence. He also includes analyses of Scalia's Court of Appeals opinions for the D.C. circuit, his major law review articles as a law professor and judge, and his provocative book, A Matter of Interpretation. Rossum reveals Scalia's understanding of key issues confronting today's Court, such as the separation of powers, federalism, the free speech and press and religion clauses of the First Amendment, and the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. He suggests that Scalia displays such a keen interest in defending federalism that he sometimes departs from text and tradition, and reveals that he has disagreed with other justices most often in decisions involving the meaning of the First Amendment's establishment clause. He also analyzes Scalia's positions on the commerce clause and habeas corpus clause of Article I, the take care clause of Article II, the criminal procedural provisions of Amendments Four through Eight, protection of state sovereign immunity in the Eleventh Amendment, and Congress's enforcement power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The first book to fully articulate the contours of Scalia's constitutional philosophy and jurisprudence, Rossum's insightful study ultimately depicts Scalia as a principled, consistent, and intelligent textualist who is fearless and resolute, notwithstanding the controversy he often inspires.
Becoming Justice Blackmun by Linda GreenhouseA Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent with unprecedented access to the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court chronicles the personal transformation of a legendary justice 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.
David Hackett Souter by Tinsley E. YarbroughWhen the first President Bush chose David Hackett Souter for the Supreme Court in 1990, the slender New Englander with the shy demeanor and ambiguous past was quickly dubbed a "stealth candidate". Since his appointment, Souter has embraced a flexible, evolving, and highly pragmatic judicialstyle that embraces a high regard for precedent--even liberal decisions of the Warren and Burger Courts with which he may have personally disagreed. Ultimately, Yarbrough contends, Souter has become the principal Rehnquist Court opponent of the originalist, text-bound jurisprudence that many of themore conservative Justices profess to champion. Sifting through Souter's opinions, papers of the Justice's contemporaries and other relevant records and interviews, esteemed Supreme Court biographer Tinsley Yarbrough here gives us the real David Souter, crafting a fascinating account of one of theheretofore most elusive Justices in the history of the Court.
Elena Kagan by Samuel B. EarnstOn 10 May 2010, President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. If confirmed, Elena Kagan would be the first Solicitor General to be appointed to the Court since the elevation of Thurgood Marshall in 1967. Given that Solicitor General Kagan has made few public statements on important legal and policy issues, some have looked to her record as Solicitor General for some indication of her views. Understanding the role and responsibilities of the Solicitor General can provide a useful backdrop against which to evaluate Elena Kagan's statements and official actions and assess her professional qualifications. This book examines the office of Solicitor General and its successes before the Court, and examines the career of Elena Kagan and her nomination to Supreme Court Justice.
The environmental justice : William O. Douglas and American conservation by Adam M. SowardsFrom the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, American conservation politics underwent a transformationand Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980) was at the heart of this shift toward modern environmentalism. The Environmental Justice explores how Douglas, inspired by his youthful experiences hiking in the Pacific Northwest, eventually used his influence to contribute to American conservation thought, politics, and law. Justice Douglas was one of the nations most passionate conservationists. He led public protests in favor of wilderness near Washington, D.C., along Washington States Pacific coast, and many places in between. He wrote eloquent testimonies to the value of wilderness and societys increasing need for it, both in his popular books and in his heartfelt judicial opinions celebrating nature and condemning those who would destroy it. He worked tirelessly to secure stronger legal protections for the environment, coordinating with a national network of conservationists and policymakers. As a sitting Supreme Court Justice, Douglas brought prestige to the conservation crusades of the time and the enormous symbolic power of legal authority at a time when the nations laws did not favor environmental protection. He understood the need for national solutions that included public involvement and protections of minority interests; the issues were nationally important and the forces against preservation were strong. In myriad situations Douglas promoted democratic action for conservation, public monitoring of government and business activities, and stronger laws to ensure environmental and political integrity. His passion for the environment helped to shape the modern environmental movement. For the first time, The Environmental Justice tells this story.
Five Chiefs by John Paul StevensWhen he resigned last June, Justice Stevens was the third longest serving Justice in American history (1975-2010)--only Justice William O. Douglas, whom Stevens succeeded, and Stephen Field have served on the Court for a longer time. In Five Chiefs, Justice Stevens captures the inner workings of the Supreme Court via his personal experiences with the five Chief Justices--Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist, and John Roberts--that he interacted with. He reminisces of being a law clerk during Vinson's tenure; a practicing lawyer for Warren; a circuit judge and junior justice for Burger; a contemporary colleague of Rehnquist; and a colleague of current Chief Justice John Roberts. Along the way, he will discuss his views of some the most significant cases that have been decided by the Court from Vinson, who became Chief Justice in 1946 when Truman was President, to Roberts, who became Chief Justice in 2005. Packed with interesting anecdotes and stories about the Court, Five Chiefs is an unprecedented and historically significant look at the highest court in the United States.
The Great Justices, 1941-54 by William DomnarskiThe Great Justices offers a revealing glimpse of a judicial universe in which titanic egos often clash, and comes as close as any book ever has to getting inside the minds of Supreme Court jurists. This is rare and little-examined territory: in the public consciousness the Supreme Court is usually seen as an establishment whose main actors, the justices, remain above emotion, vitriol, and gossip, the better to interpret our nation of laws. Yet the Court's work is always an interchange of ideas and individuals, and the men and women who make up the Court, despite or because of their best intentions, are as human as the rest of us. Appreciating that human dimension helps us to discover some of the Court's secrets, and a new way to understand the Court and its role. Comparing four brilliant but very different jurists of the Roosevelt Court-Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson-William Domnarski paints a startling picture of the often deeply ambiguous relationship between ideas and reality, between the law and the justices who interpret and create it. By pulling aside the veil of decorous tradition, Domnarski brings to light the personalities that shaped one of the greatest Courts of our time-one whose decisions continue to affect judicial thinking today. William Domnarski is the author of In the Opinion of the Court (1996), a study of the history and nature of federal court judicial opinions. He holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California. Domnarski currently practices law in California, where he is also working on a forthcoming biography of legendary Hollywood lawyer Bert Fields.
Harry A. Blackmun by Tinsley YarbroughJustice Harry A. Blackmun, author of the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, was the pivotal figure in one of the most contentious decisions in Supreme Court history and indeed the most divisive issue facing the Court today. Harry A. Blackmun: The Outsider Justice is Tinsley E. Yarbrough's penetrating account of one of the most outspoken and complicated figures on the modern Supreme Court. As a justice, Blackmun stood at the pinnacle of the American judiciary. Yet when he took his seat on the Court, JusticeBlackmun felt "almost desperate," overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy over the immense responsibilities before him. Blackmun had overcome humble roots to achieve a Harvard education, success as a Minneapolis lawyer and resident counsel to the prestigious Mayo Clinic. But growingup in a financially unstable home with a frequently unemployed father and an emotionally fragile mother left a permanent mark on the future justice. All his life, Harry Blackmun considered himself one of society's outsiders, someone who did not "belong." Remarkably, though, that very self-imageinstilled in the justice, throughout his career, a deep empathy for society's most vulnerable outsiders-women faced with unwanted pregnancies, homosexuals subjected to archaic laws, and ultimately, death-row inmates. To those who saw his career as the constitutional "odyssey" of a conservativejurist gradually transformed into a champion of the underdog, Blackmun had a ready answer: he had not changed; the Court and the issues before them changed. Drawing on considerable archival research and a wealth of knowledge of Supreme Court history, Yarbrough has written a nuanced and deeply insightful account of the life and career of one of the court's most intriguing justices.
Jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justice Stevens by Harvey B. LymontThis book examines the decisions of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens with regard to: select federalism issues; the constitutionality of congressional term limits and the presidential line item veto; select opinions on intellectual property law; decisions on wartime detentions; death penalty jurisprudence; the jury's role in criminal sentencing; the Chevron doctrine; and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
Justice Brennan by Stephen Wermiel; Seth SternA sweeping insider look at the life of William Brennan, champion of free speech and widely considered the most influential Supreme Court justice of the twentieth century nbsp; Before his death, William Brennan granted Stephen Wermiel access to volumes of personal and court materials that are sealed to the public until 2017. These are what Jeffrey Toobin has called "a coveted set of documents" that includes Brennan's case histories--in which he recorded strategies behind all the major battles of the past half century, including Roe v. Wade, affirmative action, the death penalty, obscenity law, and the constitutional right to privacy--as well as more personal documents that reveal some of Brennan's curious contradictions, like his refusal to hire female clerks even as he wrote groundbreaking women's rights decisions; his complex stance as a justice and a Catholic; and details on Brennan's unprecedented working relationship with Chief Justice Earl Warren. Wermiel distills decades of valuable information into a seamless, riveting portrait of the man behind the Court's most liberal era.
The Majesty of the Law by Sandra Day O'ConnorInThe Majesty of the Law, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explores the law, her life as a Justice, and how the Court has evolved and continues to function, grow, and change as an American institution. Tracing some of the origins of American law through history, people, and ideas, O’Connor sheds new light on the basics, and through personal observation she explores the development of institutions and ideas we have come to regard as fundamental. O’Connor discusses notable cases that have shaped American democracy and the Court as we know it today, and she traces the turbulent battle women have fought for a place in our nation’s legal system since America’s inception. Straight-talking, clear-eyed, inspiring,The Majesty of the Lawis more than a reflection on O’Connor’s own experiences as the first female Justice of the Supreme Court; it also contains a discussion of how the suffrage movement changed the lives of women—in voting booths, jury boxes, and homes across the country. InThe Majesty of the Law, Sandra Day O’Connor reveals some of what she has learned and believes about American law and life, insights gleaned over her years as one of the most powerful and inspiring women in American history.
Making Our Democracy Work by Stephen BreyerThe Supreme Court is one of the most extraordinary institutions in our system of government. Charged with the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution, the nine unelected justices of the Court have the awesome power to strike down laws enacted by our elected representatives. Why does the public accept the Court’s decisions as legitimate and follow them, even when those decisions are highly unpopular? What must the Court do to maintain the public’s faith? How can the Court help make our democracy work? These are the questions that Justice Stephen Breyer tackles in this groundbreaking book. 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.
My Beloved World by Sonia SotomayorThe first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself. She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life. With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney's office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty. Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America's infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery.
My Grandfather's Son by Clarence ThomasProvocative, inspiring, and unflinchingly honest, My Grandfather's Son is the story of one of America's most remarkable and controversial leaders, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, told in his own words. Thomas was born in rural Georgia on June 23, 1948, into a life marked by poverty and hunger. His parents divorced when Thomas was still a baby, and his father moved north to Philadelphia, leaving his young mother to raise him and his brother and sister on the ten dollars a week she earned as a maid. At age seven, Thomas and his six-year-old brother were sent to live with his mother's father, Myers Anderson, and her stepmother in their Savannah home. It was a move that would forever change Thomas's life. His grandfather, whom he called "Daddy," was a black man with a strict work ethic, trying to raise a family in the years of Jim Crow. Thomas witnessed his grandparents' steadfastness despite injustices, their hopefulness despite bigotry, and their deep love for their country. His own quiet ambition would propel him to Holy Cross and Yale Law School, and eventually--despite a bitter, highly contested public confirmation--to the highest court in the land. In this candid and deeply moving memoir, a quintessential American tale of hardship and grit, Clarence Thomas recounts his astonishing journey for the first time, and pays homage to the man who made it possible. Intimately and eloquently, Thomas speaks out, revealing the pieces of his life he holds dear, detailing the suffering and injustices he has overcome, including the acrimonious and polarizing Senate hearing involving a former aide, Anita Hill, and the depression and despair it created in his own life and the lives of those closest to him. My Grandfather's Son is the story of a determined man whose faith, courage, and perseverance inspired him to rise up against all odds and achieve his dreams.
Publication Date: 2007
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Mary Hartnett (As told to); Wendy W. Williams (As told to)The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993--a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women's rights, and popular culture. 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.
Oliver Wendell Holmes by G. Edward WhiteKnown as the "Great Dissenter," Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote some of the most eloquent opinions in the history of the United States Supreme Court. A brilliant legal mind who served on the high court into his nineties, Holmes was responsible for some of the most important judicial opinionsof the twentieth century. Now, in this superb short biography, G. Edward White offers readers a lively, informative portrait of this singular individual. The book first sketches Holmes's early years--his childhood in Boston, his undergraduate years at Harvard (which his father and both grandfathers also attended), andhis valiant service in the Civil War, during which he was severely wounded three times. After the war, Holmes went into private law practice, wrote his landmark treatise The Common Law in 1881, had a short tenure on the Harvard Law School faculty, and spent 20 years as a judge on the SupremeJudicial Court of Massachusetts before being named to the U.S. Supreme Court. The author focuses on his remarkable 30-year service as a Supreme Court Justice, beginning in 1902, and details Holmes's most significant cases--Abrams v. United States, Northern Securities Co. v. United States, Lochner v.New York, Schenck v. United States, and others--which limited working hours, set a mandatory minimum wage, protected women's rights, legalized labor unions, and defined freedom of speech. These decisions--as well as The Common Law--are highly regarded to this day. A new volume in the Lives and Legacy series, this marvelous short biography offers an ideal introduction to a towering figure in American law.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. , Legal Theory, and Judicial Restraint by Frederic R. KelloggOliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, is considered by many to be the most influential American jurist. The voluminous literature devoted to his writings and legal thought, however, is diverse and inconsistent. In this study, Frederic R. Kellogg follows Holmes's intellectual path from his early writings through his judicial career. He offers a fresh perspective that addresses the views of Holmes's leading critics and explains his relevance to the controversy over judicial activism and restraint. Holmes is shown to be an original legal theorist who reconceived common law as a theory of social inquiry and who applied his insights to constitutional law. From his empirical and naturalist perspective on law, with its roots in American pragmatism, emerged Holmes's distinctive judicial and constitutional restraint. Kellogg distinguishes Holmes from analytical legal positivism and contrasts him with a range of thinkers.
The Political Thought of Justice Antonin Scalia by James Brian StaabThe Political Thought of Antonin Scalia: A Hamiltonian on the Supreme Court traces Justice Antonin Scalia's jurisprudence back to the political and constitutional thought of Alexander Hamilton. Not only is there substantial agreement between these two men in the areas of constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, executive and judicial power, but the two men also have similar temperaments: bold, decisive, and principled. By examining the congruence in thought between Hamilton and Scalia, it is hoped that a better and deeper understanding of Justice Scalia's jurisprudence will be achieved. While an abundance of scholarship has been written on Justice Scalia, no one has systematically examined his political philosophy. This book also draws out the important differences between Justice Scalia's jurisprudence and that of the other conservative members of the Court--the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.
Rehnquist by Herman Obermayer"This book is a final act of posthumous loyalty. Without it, history will have an incomplete -- and I believe unbalanced -- picture of the remarkable man who was the sixteenth chief justice of the United States, a man I was proud to call my friend." * * * The impact of Chief Justice William Rehnquist -- who served as a Supreme Court justice for a third of a century and headed the federal judiciary under four presidents -- cannot be overstated. His dissenting opinion inRoe v. Wade,and his strongly stated positions on issues as various as freedom of the press, school prayer, and civil rights, would guarantee his memory on their own. Chiefly, though, William Rehnquist will always be remembered for his highly visible role in two of the most important and contentious political events of recent American history: the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and the Supreme Court's decision that made George W. Bush the victor in the presidential election of 2000. Despite his importance as a public figure, however, William Rehnquist scrupulously preserved his private life. And while his judicial opinions often inflamed passions and aroused both ire and praise, they were rarely personal. The underlying quirks, foibles, and eccentricities of the man were always under wraps. Now, however, journalist Herman J. Obermayer has broken that silence in a memoir of their nineteen-year friendship that is both factually detailed and intensely moving, his own personal tribute to his dearest friend. In these pages, we meet for the first time William Rehnquist the man, in a portrait that can only serve to enhance the legacy of a Chief Justice who will be remembered in history as being among America's most influential.
Salt of the Earth, Conscience of the Court by John M. Ferren; Wiley RutledgeThe Kentucky-born son of a Baptist preacher, with an early tendency toward racial prejudice, Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge (1894-1949) became one of the Court's leading liberal activists and an early supporter of racial equality, free speech, and church-state separation. Drawing on more than 160 interviews, John M. Ferren provides a valuable analysis of Rutledge's life and judicial decisionmaking and offers the most comprehensive explanation to date for the Supreme Court nominations of Rutledge, Felix Frankfurter, and William O. Douglas. Rutledge was known for his compassion and fairness. He opposed discrimination based on gender and poverty and pressed for expanded rights to counsel, due process, and federal review of state criminal convictions. During his brief tenure on the Court (he died following a stroke at age fifty-five), he contributed significantly to enhancing civil liberties and the rights of naturalized citizens and criminal defendants, became the Court's most coherent expositor of the commerce clause, and dissented powerfully from military commission convictions of Japanese generals after World War II. Through an examination of Rutledge's life, Ferren highlights the development of American common law and legal education, the growth of the legal profession and related institutions, and the evolution of the American court system, including the politics of judicial selection.
Sandra Day O'Connor by Joan BiskupicSandra Day O'Connor, America's first woman justice, became the axis on which the Supreme Court turned. She was called the most powerful woman in America, and it was often said that to gauge the direction of American law, one need look only to O'Connor's vote. Then, just one year short of a quarter century on the bench, she surprised her colleagues and the nation by announcing her retirement. Drawing on information from once-private papers of the justices, hundreds of interviews with legal and political insiders, and the insight gained from nearly two decades of covering the Supreme Court, Joan Biskupic examines O'Connor's remarkable career, providing an in-depth account of her transformation from tentative jurist to confident architect of American law. The portrait that emerges is of a complex and multifaceted woman: lawyer, politician, legislator, and justice, as well as wife, mother, A-list society hostess, and competitive athlete. To all appearances, she was the polite lady in pearls, handbag on her arm. But in the back rooms of politics and the law, she was a determined, focused strategist. O'Connor was the feminist who, rather than rebel against the male-dominated system, worked from within -- and succeeded. As Biskupic demonstrates, Justice O'Connor became much more than a "first." During her twenty-four-year tenure, she wrote the decisions on some of the most controversial social battles of our time. O'Connor's tie-breaking opinions on issues such as abortion rights, affirmative action, the death penalty, and religious freedom will have a lasting effect far into the future. O'Connor also cast one of the five votes that cut off the Florida recounts and allowed George W. Bush to take the White House in the 2000 contested presidential election. With an eye to the American people and a keen sense of public attitudes, she worked behind the scenes to shape the law and transform the legal standards by which future cases will be decided. From O'Connor's isolated upbringing on the Lazy B ranch in Arizona through her time as a state legislator to her rise as a justice -- along the way confronting her own personal challenges and crises, including breast cancer -- Biskupic presents a vivid, astute depiction of the justice -- and of the woman beneath the black robe. In so doing, Sandra Day O'Connor also provides an unprecedented look inside the exclusive, famously secretive High Court.
Scalia by Bruce Allen MurphyAn authoritative, deeply researched biography of the most controversial and outspoken Supreme Court justice of our time and how he chose to be "right" rather than influential. Antonin Scalia knew only success in the first fifty years of his life. His sterling academic and legal credentials led to his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1982. In four short years there, he successfully outmaneuvered the more senior Robert Bork to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986. Scalia's evident legal brilliance and personal magnetism led everyone to predict he would unite a new conservative majority under Chief Justice William Rehnquist and change American law in the process. Instead he became a Court of One. Rather than bringing the conservatives together, Scalia drove them apart. He attacked and alienated his more moderate colleagues Sandra Day O'Connor, then David Souter, and finally Anthony Kennedy. Scalia prevented the conservative majority from coalescing for nearly two decades. Scalia: A Court of One is the compelling story of one of the most polarizing figures ever to serve on the nation's highest court. It provides an insightful analysis of Scalia's role on a Court that, like him, has moved well to the political right, losing public support and ignoring public criticism. To the delight of his substantial conservative following, Scalia's "originalism" theory has become the litmus test for analyzing, if not always deciding, cases. But Bruce Allen Murphy shows that Scalia's judicial conservatism is informed as much by his highly traditional Catholicism, mixed with his political partisanship, as by his reading of the Constitution. Murphy also brilliantly analyzes Scalia's role in major court decisions since the mid-1980s and scrutinizes the ethical controversies that have dogged Scalia in recent years. A Court of One is a fascinating examination of one outspoken justice's decision not to play internal Court politics, leaving him frequently in dissent, but instead to play for history, seeking to etch his originalism philosophy into American law.
Sisters in law : how Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg went to by Linda HirshmanThe relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brook-lyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second women to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. Hirshman also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, setting precedent in cases dealing with employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women’s lives. Sisters in Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes, bringing these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.
Supreme discomfort : the divided soul of Clarence Thomas by Kevin Merida; Michael FletcherSUPREME DISCOMFORToriginated from a much-commented-upon profile of Clarence Thomas that appeared in an August 2002 issue of The Washington Post Magazine. In it, Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, both Poststaffers, both black, crafted a haunting portrait of an isolated and bitter man, savagely reviled by much of the black community, not entirely comfortable in white society, internally wounded by his passage from a broken family and rural poverty in Georgia to elite educational institutions to the pinnacle of judicial power. He has clearly never recovered from the searing experience of his Senate confirmation hearings and the "he said/she said" drama of the accusations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill. SUPREME DISCOMFORT tracks the personal odyssey of perhaps the least understood man in Washington, from his poor childhood in Pin Point and Savannah, Georgia, to his educational experiences in a Catholic seminary and Holy Cross, to his law school years at Yale during the black power era, to his rise within the Republican political establishment. It offers a window into a man who straddles two different worlds and is uneasy in both—and whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.