Scalia: A Court of One

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jun 10, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 644 pages
2 Reviews
An 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.
 

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User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5254. Scalia A Court of One, by Bruce Allen Murphy (read 13 Mar 2015) This is a 2014 biography of Scalia, who was born in 1936, an only child. He went to public grade school. a Jesuit-run high school ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DavidWineberg - LibraryThing

The Rob Ford of SCOTUS For about 150 pages of this intense, revealing and quite excellent book, Antonin “Nino” Scalia is a brilliant student, a hard worker, an unbeatable debater and an all around ... Read full review

Contents

Scalia in Winter 1 1 Pride of the Scalias
1
the chosen
2
the harvard hit Parade of the 1950s
3
Building a résumé
4
the Presidents Legal Adviser
5
Wildflowers Among the Weeds
6
it isnt easy to Be right
7
terminology is Destiny 118
8
King of the originalists
380
the methodology of originalism
394
Kennedys court
422
roberts rules of order
440
reading Law
465
21
481
32
489
45
491

A court of
9
Fainthearted originalist
10
Losing the middle
11
the evil nino
12
master of the Barbed opinion
13
War of the Words
14
Bush v Gore 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Scalia vs the Pope
281
Quack Quack
298
the charm offensive
318
the Dead constitution tour
336
opus ScotuS
354
the rock Star of one First Street
368
58
493
79
507
96
515
134
553
151
590
198
599
221
600
298
601
336
602
354
604
394
614
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About the author (2014)

Bruce Allen Murphy is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he teaches American constitutional law and civil rights and liberties, American politics, and biographical writing. He is the author of Scalia; The Brandeis-Frankfurter Connection: The Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices; Fortas: The Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice; and Wild Bill: The Legend and Life of William O. Douglas. Murphy lives with his wife in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

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