The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court's Image in the American Mind

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - History - 169 pages
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Perry illuminates the Supreme Court's unique advantages in sustaining a noble public image by its stewardship of the revered Constitution, its constant embrace of the rule of law, the justices' life tenure, its symbols of impartiality and integrity, and a resolute determination to keep its distance from the media. She argues that the Court has bolstered these advantages to avoid traps that have marred Congressional and presidential images, and she demonstrates how the Court has escaped the worst of media coverage.

In this detailed examination of the Court, its justices, decisions, facilities, and programs as well as its place in modern American culture, Perry illustrates that the Court has consciously endeavored to preserve its exalted standing. The Priestly Tribe provides an original and insightful analysis of this intriguing judicial institution for students and scholars of the Court and the general public.

 

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Contents

The Brethren in Closed Chambers?
1
The Priestly Tribe or Nine Old Men? Images of the Court during the New Deal
7
From Potato Hole to Marble Palace How the Court Presents Itself
25
High Priests or Nine Scorpions? How the Justices Present Themselves
47
Defrocking the Priests? Media Presentations of the Court
85
Do the Justices Wear Clothes? Public Perceptions of the Court
121
God Save This Honorable Court
143
Selected Bibliography
159
Index
165
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About the author (1999)

BARBARA A. PERRY is professor and chair, Department of Government, Sweet Briar College. Professor Perry served as a Judicial Fellow at the United States Supreme Court (1994-1995), where she received the Tom C. Clark Award. Her books include A Representative Supreme Court? The Impact of Race, Religion, and Gender on Appointments (Greenwood Press, 1991), and, with Henry J. Abraham, the seventh edition of Freedom and the Court: Civil Rights and Liberties in the United States (1998).

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