Author: Lucas A. Powe
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren was the most revolutionary and controversial Supreme Court in American history. But in what sense? Challenging the reigning consensus that the Warren Court, fundamentally, was protecting minorities, Lucas Powe revives the valuable tradition of looking at the Supreme Court in the wide political environment to find the Warren Court a functioning partner in Kennedy-Johnson liberalism. Thus the Court helped to impose national liberal-elite values on groups that were outliers to that tradition--the white South, rural America, and areas of Roman Catholic dominance. In a learned and lively narrative, Powe discusses over 200 significant rulings: the explosive "Brown" decision, which fundamentally challenged the Southern way of life; reapportionment (one person, one vote), which changed the political balance of American legislatures; the gradual elimination of anti-Communist domestic security programs; the reform of criminal procedures ("Mapp, Gideon, Miranda"); the ban on school-sponsored prayer; and a new law on pornography. Most of these decisions date from 1962, when those who shaped the dominant ideology of the Warren Court of storied fame gained a fifth secure liberal vote. The Justices of the majority were prominent individuals, brimming with confidence, willing to help shape a revolution and see if it would last.
Author: Morton J. Horwitz
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series: concise, affordable works on pivotal topics in American history, society, and politics. The men who made up the Supreme Court when Earl Warren was Chief Justice (1953-69) changed America forever, and their decisions are still affecting constitutional law today. This overview of the Warren Court focuses on its landmark cases and enduring legacy.
How Supreme Court Cases from Texas Shape the Nation
Author: Lucas A. Powe Jr.
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Texas has created more constitutional law than any other state. In any classroom nationwide, any basic constitutional law course can be taught using nothing but Texas cases. That, however, understates the history and politics behind the cases. Beyond representing all doctrinal areas of constitutional law, Texas cases deal with the major issues of the nation. Leading legal scholar and Supreme Court historian Lucas A. Powe, Jr., charts the rich and pervasive development of Texas-inspired constitutional law. From voting rights to railroad regulations, school finance to capital punishment, poverty to civil liberties, this wide-ranging and eminently readable book provides a window into the relationship between constitutional litigation and ordinary politics at the Supreme Court, illuminating how all of the fiercest national divides over what the Constitution means took shape in Texas.
the Warren Court, welfare rights, and the American political tradition
Author: Elizabeth Bussiere
Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr
A critique of the Warren Court's rulings on welfare in the context of twentieth-century politics.In 1989 the Supreme Court ruled that the State of Wisconsin was not liable for the brutal beating of a young boy by his father, who had been investigated by the Department of Social Services. Chief Justice William Rehnquist's majority opinion rejected the claim of the boy's mother that her son had been deprived of his constitutional "right to life." Taking this case as her point of departure, Elizabeth Bussiere observes that the idea of a constitutional right to life was first rejected not by the conservative Rehnquist Court but by the liberal Warren Court twenty years earlier. She investigates why the Warren Court, despite its many rulings "entitling" the poor to constitutional protections, refused to identify welfare benefits (or subsistence) as a constitutional right.Although focused on the Warren Court, the book explores Western political thought from the seventeenth through late twentieth centuries, draws on American social history from the Age of Jackson through the civil rights era of the 1960s, and utilizes current analytic methods, particularly the "new institutionalism." Finding cultural arguments regarding the absence of constitutional welfare rights inadequate, Bussiere illuminates two long-standing traditions -- natural law and maternalism -- that tended to support the poor's subsistence needs. The key to the failure of constitutional welfare rig
A Biography of Earl Warren
Author: Ed Cray
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Traces the life and career of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, including his role as head of the Warren Commission, and assesses his impact on American society
The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
In this authoritative reckoning with the eighteen-year record of the Rehnquist Court, Georgetown law professor Mark Tushnet reveals how the decisions of nine deeply divided justices have left the future of the Court; and the nation; hanging in the balance. Many have assumed that the chasm on the Court has been between its liberals and its conservatives. In reality, the division was between those in tune with the modern post-Reagan Republican Party and those who, though considered to be in the Court's center, represent an older Republican tradition. As a result, the Court has modestly promoted the agenda of today's economic conservatives, but has regularly defeated the agenda of social issues conservatives; while paving the way for more radically conservative path in the future.
Author: Bernard Schwartz,Stephan Lesher
A behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Supreme Court, between 1953 and 1969, under the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren discusses the members of the court, its operation, and the critical judicial decisions made
Author: Mark Tushnet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
An examination of the initial years of the Roberts Court and the intellectual battle between Roberts and Kagan for leadership. When John Roberts was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court, he said he would act as an umpire. Instead, his Court is reshaping legal precedent through decisions unmistakably—though not always predictably—determined by politics as much as by law, on a Court almost perfectly politically divided. Harvard Law School professor and constitutional law expert Mark Tushnet clarifies the lines of conflict and what is at stake on the Supreme Court as it hangs “in the balance” between its conservatives and its liberals. Clear and deeply knowledgeable on both points of law and the Court’s key players, Tushnet offers a nuanced and surprising examination of the initial years of the Roberts Court. Covering the legal philosophies that have informed decisions on major cases such as the Affordable Care Act, the political structures behind Court appointments, and the face-off between John Roberts and Elena Kagan for intellectual dominance of the Court, In the Balance is a must-read for anyone looking for fresh insight into the Court’s impact on the everyday lives of Americans.
Author: Bernard Schwartz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A comprehensive history of the United States Supreme Court from its ill-esteemed beginning in 1790 to one of the most important and controversial branches of the Federal government.
Author: Michael J. Graetz,Linda Greenhouse
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A revelatory look at the Warren Burger Supreme Court finds that it was not moderate or transitional, but conservative—and it shaped today’s constitutional landscape. It is an “important book…a powerful corrective to the standard narrative of the Burger Court” (The New York Times Book Review). When Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency in 1968 he promised to change the Supreme Court. With four appointments to the court, including Warren E. Burger as the chief justice, he did just that. In 1969, the Burger Court succeeded the famously liberal Warren Court, which had significantly expanded civil liberties and was despised by conservatives across the country. The Burger Court is often described as a “transitional” court between the Warren Court and the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, a court where little of importance happened. But as this “landmark new book” (The Christian Science Monitor) shows, the Burger Court veered well to the right in such areas as criminal law, race, and corporate power. Authors Graetz and Greenhouse excavate the roots of the most significant Burger Court decisions and in “elegant, illuminating arguments” (The Washington Post) show how their legacy affects us today. “Timely and engaging” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right draws on the personal papers of the justices as well as other archives to provide “the best kind of legal history: cogent, relevant, and timely” (Publishers Weekly).
The Trials of Lady Chatterley, Tropic of Cancer & Fanny Hill by the Lawyer Who Defended Them
Author: Charles Rembar
Publisher: Open Road Media
Winner of the George Polk Award: Charles Rembar’s illuminating account of overturning America’s obscenity laws and protecting literature from censorship Up until the 1960s, depending on your state of residence, your copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer might be seized by the US Postal Service before reaching your mailbox. Selling copies of Cleland’s Fanny Hill in your bookstore was considered illegal. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence was, according to the American legal system, pornography with no redeeming social value. Today, these novels are celebrated for their literary and historic worth. The End of Obscenity is Charles Rembar’s account of successfully arguing the merits of such great works of literature in front of the Supreme Court. As the lead attorney on the case, he—with the support of a few brave publishers—changed the way Americans read and honor books, especially the controversial ones. Filled with insight from lawyers, justices, and the authors themselves, The End of Obscenity is a lively tour de force. Racy testimony and hilarious asides make Rembar’s memoir not only a page-turner but also an enlightening look at the American legal system.
Author: James F. Simon
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
The epic 1950s battle that would shape the legal future of the civil rights movement is chronicled here for the first time. The bitter feud between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren framed the tumultuous future of the modern civil rights movement. Eisenhower was a gradualist who wanted to coax white Americans in the South into eventually accepting integration, while Warren, author of the Supreme Court’s historic unanimous opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, demanded immediate action to dismantle the segregation of the public school system. In Eisenhower vs. Warren, two-time New York Times Notable Book author James F. Simon examines the years of strife between them that led Eisenhower to say that his biggest mistake as president was appointing that “dumb son of a bitch Earl Warren.” This momentous, poisonous relationship is presented here at last in one volume. Compellingly written, Eisenhower vs. Warren brings to vivid life the clash that continues to reverberate in political and constitutional debates today.
Author: Paul Moke
Publisher: Lexington Books
Earl Warren and the Strugglefor Justice explores the remarkable life of one of the leading public figures and jurists of twentieth century America. Based on newly available source materials, it traces Warren’s progressive vision of government from its origins in the fight against urban corruption in Oakland, California during the 1930s to its culmination in the effort to professionalize public school administration, law enforcement, and the management of the electoral process under the auspices of the U.S. Constitution. Although Warren’s major social justice decisions strengthened democracy at a crucial juncture in American and world history, in times of crisis his excessive deference to national security officials sometimes jeopardized other core human rights, as shown in his approaches to the Japanese internment and the investigation into the assassination of President John Kennedy. The book offers accessible and fresh insights into the dynamics of the Supreme Court and the accomplishments of Earl Warren, the man, jurist, and political leader.
The Supreme Court in American Life
Author: Kenneth W. Starr
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Today's United States Supreme Court consists of nine intriguingly varied justices and one overwhelming contradiction: Compared to its revolutionary predecessor, the Rehnquist Court appears deceptively passive, yet it stands as dramatically ready to defy convention as the Warren Court of the 1950s and 60s. Now Kenneth W. Starr-who served as clerk for one chief justice, argued twenty-five cases as solicitor general before the Supreme Court, and is widely regarded as one of the nation's most distinguished practitioners of constitutional law-offers us an incisive and unprecedented look at the paradoxes, the power, and the people of the highest court in the land. In FIRST AMONG EQUALS Ken Starr traces the evolution of the Supreme Court from its beginnings, examines major Court decisions of the past three decades, and uncovers the sometimes surprising continuity between the precedent-shattering Warren Court and its successors under Burger and Rehnquist. He shows us, as no other author ever has, the very human justices who shape our law, from Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court's most pivotal-and perhaps most powerful-player, to Clarence Thomas, its most original thinker. And he explores the present Court's evolution into a lawyerly tribunal dedicated to balance and consensus on the one hand, and zealous debate on hotly contested issues of social policy on the other. * On race, the Court overturned affirmative action and held firm to an undeviating color-blind standard. * On executive privilege, the Court rebuffed three presidents, both Republican and Democrat, who fought to increase their power at the expense of rival branches of government. * On the 2000 presidential election, the Court prevented what it deemed a runaway Florida court from riding roughshod over state law-illustrating how in our system of government, the Supreme Court is truly the first among equals. Compelling and supremely readable, FIRST AMONG EQUALS sheds new light on the most frequently misunderstood legal pillar of American life.
A Critical View of Judicial Activism
Author: John Denton Carter
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
The U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren attempted to transfer the balance of American political power from elected representatives to a coalition of restless, ambitious power-seekers on the liberal-left, charges author John Denton Carter. The Warren Court and the Constitution: A Critical View of Judicial Activism contends that the appointment of Warren as chief justice in 1953 launched the Supreme Court on a 16-year orgy of unprecedented judicial activism. While the author focuses his fire primarily upon Warren, the rubbery character and flexible principal that distinguished many members of the Warren Court also come under close scrutiny. Carter, who holds a doctorate in history from the University of California at Berkeley, writes that, under Warren, the Court was quickly transformed from an impartial forum of justice into a body of Constitutional anarchists. He argues that the liberal-left coalition focused its efforts on capturing the Supreme Court because it was unable to work its will sufficiently through the Congress and the Presidency. The author, who collaborated on the seven-volume History of the Army Air Forces in World War II, also contends that the only practical method of reforming the Court today is to pack it with conservatives, a procedure, he says, for which there is ample precedent. He warns that because the human thirst for power is insatiable, it is certain that this unlawful extension of the judicial authority will continue and become increasingly menacing to stable government and public order unless the court is contained and forced to return to its prescribed duties under the Constitution.
His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences
Author: Kevin J. McMahon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Political Science
Most analysts have deemed Richard Nixon’s challenge to the judicial liberalism of the Warren Supreme Court a failure—“a counterrevolution that wasn’t.” Nixon’s Court offers an alternative assessment. Kevin J. McMahon reveals a Nixon whose public rhetoric was more conservative than his administration’s actions and whose policy towards the Court was more subtle than previously recognized. Viewing Nixon’s judicial strategy as part political and part legal, McMahon argues that Nixon succeeded substantially on both counts. Many of the issues dear to social conservatives, such as abortion and school prayer, were not nearly as important to Nixon. Consequently, his nominations for the Supreme Court were chosen primarily to advance his “law and order” and school desegregation agendas—agendas the Court eventually endorsed. But there were also political motivations to Nixon’s approach: he wanted his judicial policy to be conservative enough to attract white southerners and northern white ethnics disgruntled with the Democratic party but not so conservative as to drive away moderates in his own party. In essence, then, he used his criticisms of the Court to speak to members of his “Silent Majority” in hopes of disrupting the long-dominant New Deal Democratic coalition. For McMahon, Nixon’s judicial strategy succeeded not only in shaping the course of constitutional law in the areas he most desired but also in laying the foundation of an electoral alliance that would dominate presidential politics for a generation.
One Hundred Decisions
Author: Robert M. Lichtman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
The 1950s "Red Scare" marks one of the stormiest periods in U.S. Supreme Court history. Robert M. Lichtman provides the definitive history of the high court's decisions in every one of the "Communist" cases it decided, placing each within the context of the time and revealing the broad range and impact of McCarthy-era repression. Making extensive use of the justices' papers, Lichtman examines the dynamics of the Court's changes in direction, from the Vinson Court's rubber-stamping of government action against subversives to the Warren Court's more liberal rulings and the subsequent retreat led by Felix Frankfurter. Lichtman's account details the Court's surprising vulnerability to popular and political attack and reveals the behind-the-scenes relationships and rivalries among justices. At the same time, he recounts in devastating detail the injuries inflicted by McCarthyism on individuals and the nation.
Justices, Rulings, and Legacy
Author: Melvin I. Urofsky
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Explores the era, justices, key events, and decisions in landmark Supreme Court cases under Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Author: Erwin Chemerinsky
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Over the last few decades, the Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts have undergone a dramatic shift to the right, the result of a determined effort by right-wing lawmakers and presidents to reinterpret the Constitution by reshaping the judiciary. Conservative activist justices have narrowed the scope of the Constitution, denying its protections to millions of Americans, exactly as the lawmakers who appointed and confirmed these jurists intended. Basic long-standing principles of constitutional law have been overturned by the Rehnquist and Roberts courts. As distinguished law professor and constitutional expert Erwin Chemerinsky demonstrates in this invaluable book, these changes affect the lives of every American. As a result of political pressure from conservatives and a series of Supreme Court decisions, our public schools are increasingly separate and unequal, to the great disadvantage of poor and minority students. Right-wing politicians and justices are dismantling the wall separating church and state, allowing ever greater government support for religion. With the blessing of the Supreme Court, absurdly harsh sentences are being handed down to criminal defendants, such as life sentences for shoplifting and other petty offenses. Even in death penalty cases, defendants are being denied the right to competent counsel at trial, and as a result innocent people have been convicted and sentenced to death. Right-wing politicians complain that government is too big and intrusive while at the same time they are only too happy to insert the government into the most intimate aspects of the private lives of citizens when doing so conforms to conservative morality. Conservative activist judges say that the Constitution gives people an inherent right to own firearms but not to make their own medical decisions. In some states it is easier to buy an assault rifle than to obtain an abortion. Nowhere has the conservative assault on the Constitution been more visible or more successful than in redefining the role of the president. From Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, conservatives have sought to significantly increase presidential power. The result in recent years has been unprecedented abuses, including indefinite detentions, illegal surveillance, and torture of innocent people. Finally, access to the courts is being restricted by new rulings that deny legal protections to ordinary Americans. Fewer lawsuits alleging discrimination in employment are heard; fewer people are able to sue corporations or governments for injuries they have suffered; and even when these cases do go to trial, new restrictions limit damages that plaintiffs can collect. The first step in reclaiming the protections of the Constitution, says Chemerinsky, is to recognize that right-wing justices are imposing their personal prejudices, not making neutral decisions about the scope of the Constitution, as they claim, or following the "original meaning" of the Constitution. Only then do we stand a chance of reclaiming our constitutional liberties from a rigid ideological campaign that has transformed our courts and our laws. Only then can we return to a constitutional law that advances freedom and equality.
Author: Erwin Chemerinsky
Publisher: Penguin Books
Both historically and in the present, the Supreme Court has largely been a failure In this devastating book, Erwin Chemerinsky—“one of the shining lights of legal academia” (The New York Times)—shows how, case by case, for over two centuries, the hallowed Court has been far more likely to uphold government abuses of power than to stop them. Drawing on a wealth of rulings, some famous, others little known, he reviews the Supreme Court's historic failures in key areas, including the refusal to protect minorities, the upholding of gender discrimination, and the neglect of the Constitution in times of crisis, from World War I through 9/11. No one is better suited to make this case than Chemerinsky. He has studied, taught, and practiced constitutional law for thirty years and has argued before the Supreme Court. With passion and eloquence, Chemerinsky advocates reforms that could make the system work better, and he challenges us to think more critically about the nature of the Court and the fallible men and women who sit on it.