Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2008-01
A distinguished Supreme Court scholar introduces and explains sixteen influential cases from throughout the Court's history and offers a sense of what could have developed if the dissents were instead the majority opinions, looking at each case in terms of its political, social, economic, and cultural context. Original.
Author: Melvin I. Urofsky
Release Date: 2017-01-10
In his major work, acclaimed historian and judicial authority Melvin Urofsky examines the great dissents throughout the Court's long history. Constitutional dialogue is one of the ways in which we as a people reinvent and reinvigorate our democratic society. The Supreme Court has interpreted the meaning of the Constitution, acknowledged that the Court's majority opinions have not always been right, and initiated a critical discourse about what a particular decision should mean and fashioning subsequent decisions--largely through the power of dissent. Urofsky shows how the practice grew slowly but steadily, beginning with the infamous & now overturned case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) during which Chief Justice Roger Taney's opinion upheld slaver and ending with the present age of incivility, in which reasoned dialogue seems less and less possible. Dissent on the court and off, Urofsky argues in this major work, has been a crucial ingredient in keeping the Constitution alive and must continue to be so.
Author: Andrew Lynch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2016-09-08
When judges disagree, those in the minority write a dissenting opinion. This book considers the great dissents in Australian law. Their worth may derive from numerous factors, including their rhetorical force as a piece of legal reasoning or emotive power as a judicial lament for the 'error' into which the majority has fallen; the general importance of the issue at stake; as a challenge to the orthodoxy; and, sometimes, the subsequent recognition of a dissenting opinion's correctness and its ultimate vindication. On some occasions, all these features may be strongly present, on others only some. Through a diverse selection of memorable dissenting opinions, this book illuminates the topic of judicial disagreement more generally - not only through examples of instances when minority opinions have been distinctly valuable, but by drawing out a richer understanding of the attributes and circumstances which lead some dissents to become iconic, while so many lie forgotten.
Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012-01-31
Dissenting Voices in American Society: The Role of Judges, Lawyers, and Citizens explores the status of dissent in the work and lives of judges, lawyers, and citizens, and in our institutions and culture. It brings together under the lens of critical examination dissenting voices that are usually treated separately: the protester, the academic critic, the intellectual, and the dissenting judge. It examines the forms of dissent that institutions make possible and those that are discouraged or domesticated. This book also describes the kinds of stories that dissenting voices try to tell and the narrative tropes on which those stories depend. This book is the product of an integrated series of symposia at the University of Alabama School of Law. These symposia bring leading scholars into colloquy with faculty at the law school on subjects at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary inquiry in law.
Author: Antoni Abat i Ninet
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Release Date: 2014-08-20
Genre: True Crime
Western political systems tend to be 'constitutional democracies', dividing the system into a domain of politics, where the people rule, and a domain of law, set aside for a trained elite. Antoni Abat i Ninet strives to resolve these apparently exclusive
Author: Antonin Scalia
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2016-04-04
Genre: Political Science
The sudden passing of Justice Antonin Scalia shook America. After almost thirty years on the Supreme Court, Scalia had become as integral to the institution as the hallowed room in which he sat. His wisecracking interruptions during oral arguments, his unmatched legal wisdom, his unwavering dedication to the Constitution, and his blistering dissents defined his leadership role on the court and inspired new generations of policymakers and legal minds. Now, as Republicans and Democrats wage war over Scalia’s lamentably empty Supreme Court seat, Kevin Ring, former counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Constitution Subcommittee, has taken a close look at the cases that best illustrate Scalia’s character, philosophy, and legacy. In Scalia’s Court: A Legacy of Landmark Opinions and Dissents, Ring collects Scalia’s most memorable opinions on free speech, separation of powers, race, religious freedom, the rights of the accused, abortion, and more; and intersperses Scalia's own words with an analysis of his legal reasoning and his lasting impact on American jurisprudence. “I don’t worry about my legacy,” Scalia once told an audience at the National Archives. “Just do your job right, and who cares?” Now that "the lion of American law has left the stage,” as the U.S. Attorney General put it, it is for the rest of America to worry about his legacy—and to care.
Author: Kimberly R. Moffitt
Release Date: 2011
The 1980s: A Critical and Transitional Decade, edited by Kimberly R. Moffitt and Duncan A. Campbell, is a holistic analysis of the decade that focuses on major turning points and developments in literature, entertainment, politics, and social experimentation. This analysis ultimately presents the 1980s as a significant phenomenon in the American landscape. The 1980s is a groundbreaking and stand-alone introductory volume that is unapologetically interdisciplinary in nature and encourages students to explore topics of the decade often overlooked or grouped together with other, more memorable decades such as the 1920s or 1960s.
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 1997
Following on Making Civil Rights Law, which covered Thurgood Marshall's career from 1936-1961, this book focuses on Marshall's career on the Supreme Court from 1961-1991, where he was first Afro-American Justice. The first book on Justice Thurgood Marshall's years on the Supreme Court based on a comprehensive review of the Supreme Court papers of Justices Marshall and William J. Brennan, this work describes Marshall's special approach to constitutional law in areas ranging from civil rights and the death penalty to abortion and poverty. It also describes the Supreme Court's operations during Marshall's tenure, the relations among the justices, and the particular roles played by Chief Justice Warren Burger, Justice Brennan, and Justice Antonin Scalia. The book locates the Supreme Court's actions from 1967 to 1991 in a broader historical and political context, explaining how Marshall's liberalism became increasingly isolated on a Court influenced by nation's drift in a more conservative direction.
Author: Kenneth W. Starr
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 2008-12-14
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.
Author: Stephen Breyer
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Release Date: 2016-08-23
Genre: Political Science
A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen G. Breyer argues that it does: that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently, and thus violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. "Today’s administration of the death penalty," Breyer writes, "involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use." This volume contains Breyer's dissent in the case of Glossip v. Gross, which involved an unsuccessful challenge to Oklahoma's use of a lethal-injection drug because it might cause severe pain. Justice Breyer's legal citations have been edited to make them understandable to a general audience, but the text retains the full force of his powerful argument that the time has come for the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty. Breyer was joined in his dissent from the bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their passionate argument has been cited by many legal experts — including fellow Justice Antonin Scalia — as signaling an eventual Court ruling striking down the death penalty. A similar dissent in 1963 by Breyer's mentor, Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, helped set the stage for a later ruling, imposing what turned out to be a four-year moratorium on executions.
Author: Mark Tushnet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2013-09-30
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: Lynne Curry
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Family & Relationships
"Poor Joshua!" lamented Justice Harry Blackmun in his famous dissent. "Victim of repeated attacks by an irresponsible, bullying, obviously cowardly, and intemperate father, and abandoned by respondents who placed him in a dangerous predicament and who knew or learned what was going on, and yet did essentially nothing...." Even so, the Supreme Court, by a 6-to-3 margin, absolved Wisconsin officials of any negligence in a case that had left a young child profoundly damaged for the rest of his life. Does the Constitution protect children from violent parents? As Lynne Curry shows, that was the central question at issue when Melody DeShaney initially sued Wisconsin for failing to protect her battered son Joshua from her estranged husband, thus violating her son's constitutional right to due process. The resulting case, DeShaney v. Winnebago County (1989), was a highly emotional one pitting the family against the state and challenging our views on domestic relations, child abuse, and the responsibilities--and limits--of state action regarding the private lives of citizens. The Supreme Court's controversial decision ruled that the Constitution was intended to limit state action rather than oblige the state to interfere in private affairs. It viewed the Due Process Clause as a limitation on the state's power to act, not a guarantee of safety and security, not even for children who depend on the state for their survival. In this first book-length analysis of the case, Curry helps readers understand how considerations of "what should be" are not always reflected in legal reasoning. Curry brings to light details that have been ignored or neglected and covers both the criminal and civilproceedings to retell a story that still shocks. Drawing on legal briefs and social work case files, she reviews the legal machinations of the state and includes personal stories of key actors: family members, social workers, police officers, child advocates, and opposing attorneys. She then clearly analyzes the majority and dissenting opinions from the Court, as well as reactions from the court of public opinion. Joshua DeShaney depended on the state for protection but found no satisfaction in the courts when the state failed him. The DeShaney Case offers a much-needed perspective on the dilemmas his predicament posed for our legal system and fresh insight into our ambivalent views of the role that the state should play in our daily lives.
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2005
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: Robert A. Levy
Publisher: Cato Institute
Release Date: 2009-08-01
Alexander Hamilton wrote that “the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution.” If only that were true. The Founding Fathers wanted the judicial branch to serve as a check on the power of the legislative and executive, and gave the Supreme Court the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution in a way that would safeguard individual freedoms. In some cases, like Brown V. Board of Education and United States V. Lopez, the Court fulfilled its role, protecting us from racial discrimination and the heavy hand of the federal government. But sadly, the Supreme Court has also handed down many destructive decisions on cases you probably never learned about in school. In The Dirty Dozen, two distinguished legal scholars shed light on the twelve worst cases, which allowed government to interfere in your private contractual agreements; curtail your rights to criticize or support political candidates; arrest and imprison you indefinitely, without filing charges; and seize your private property, without compensation, when someone uses the property for criminal activity—even if you don’t know about it! This is not a book just for lawyers. It’s for all Americans who want to understand how the Supreme Court can affect our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This paperback edition includes a new preface, “Guns, Bailouts, and Empathetic Judges,” which highlights new and critical issues that have arisen since the book’s initial edition was published in 2008.