The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America
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 ideology and 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.
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Review: The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined AmericaUser Review - Steven Yenzer - Goodreads
Pretty enjoyable read about some of the famous figures of the Supreme Court. A nice look behind the scenes, and easy-to-read introduction to some of the finer points of Court-watching. Read full review
Review: The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined AmericaUser Review - Johnp - Goodreads
I am *not* a big fan of Supreme Court books. I know it sounds silly, but the focus is always on the court cases and less on the personal side. This book is different. A companion to the PBS series on ... Read full review
INTRODUCTION A QUESTION OF TEMPERAMENT
CHAPTER ONE THE VIRGINIA ARISTOCRATS
CHAPTER TWO THE LEGACY OF THE CIVIL WAR
CHAPTER THREE LIBERTY AND LICENSE
CHAPTER FOUR TWO FACES OF CONSERVATISM
CONCLUSION THE FUTURE OF TEMPERAMENT