The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice

Front Cover
Christopher L. Tomlins, Houghton Mifflin Company, American Bar Foundation
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Law - 578 pages
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With its ability to review and interpret all American law, the Supreme Court of the United States is arguably the most influential branch of government. Yet, institutionally, it is the least powerful. Its authority relies entirely on the willing consent of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government and of the American people to accept it as law's ultimate arbiter. Perhaps for this very reason the Court has taken great care to shield itself from the public gaze.

Offering a sweeping history of this remote and austere institution,The United States Supreme Court pulls back the curtain of mystery to make the Court accessible to all readers. Eighteen essays, written by the nation's top legal historians -- among them Mark Tushnet, Scot Powe, Paul Finkelman, and Katherine Fischer Taylor -- provide incisive interpretation of the Court's activities over the past two centuries, from its first meetings in borrowed space in the U.S. Capitol to the ornate "Marble Palace" of the present day.

The United States Supreme Courtshowcases the Court's legal triumphs and disasters, its internal workings, and its impact on American politics, society, and culture. The book also brings to light the uneasy influence of popular culture and electoral politics on the Court. Organized chronologically by the terms of each chief justice, here are fresh insights into the Court's key moments and cases, from the Dred Scot decision to Brown v. Board of Education, from the Lochner era to the Warren Court, from Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore.
  

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Contents

Laying Foundations
26
Law Politics and the Emergence
47
The Jurisprudence of Slavery
75
Cautious Reconstruction
103
The Collapse of Reconstruction
124
Property and Liberty
147
A Progressive Court?
172
Groping for Modernity
199
Radical Revision of American
327
ACROSS TWO CENTURIES
355
1791 to the Present
382
Image and Projection
398
The Supreme Court and Election Returns
423
APPENDIXES
447
Information
454
1790 to the Present
533

THE THIRD SEVENTY YEARS
221
Transition
249
Procedural Liberalism
277
Once More in Transition
300
index
541
illustration credits
577
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Christopher L. Tomlins is a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation and the editor of Law and History Review. His previous books include The Many Legalities of Early America; Law; Labor and Ideology in the Early American Republic; and The State and Unions.

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