Nixon s Court

Author: Kevin J. McMahon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226561219
Release Date: 2011-09-19
Genre: 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.

The U S Supreme Court and New Federalism

Author: Christopher P. Banks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742535046
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Law

Constitutional scholars Christopher P. Banks and John C. Blakeman offer the most current and the first book-length study of the U.S. Supreme Court's “new federalism” begun by the Rehnquist Court and now flourishing under Chief Justice John Roberts. While the Rehnquist Court reinvorgorated new federalism by protecting state sovereignty and set new constitutional limits on federal power, Banks and Blakeman show that in the Roberts Court new federalism continues to evolve in a docket increasingly attentive to statutory construction, preemption, and business litigation

The Chief Justice

Author: Artemus Ward
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472121953
Release Date: 2016-08-18
Genre: Political Science

The Chief Justice brings together leading scholars of the courts who employ social science theory and research to explain the role of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. They consider the chief justice’s appointment, office, powers, and influence both within the Court and in the American system of government more generally. The chief justice presides over oral arguments and the justices’ private conferences. The chief justice speaks first in those conferences, presents cases and other matters to the other justices, and assigns the Court’s opinions in all cases in which the chief justice votes with the majority. In addition, the chief justice presides over the Judicial Conference of the United States, a policy-making body composed of lower-court federal judges. As Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is “the most important judicial officer in the world.”

The Case Against the Supreme Court

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780143128007
Release Date: 2015-09-29
Genre: History

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.

The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right

Author: Michael J. Graetz
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476732510
Release Date: 2017-06-06
Genre: History

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 Conservative Assault on the Constitution

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451606354
Release Date: 2010-09-28
Genre: History

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.

Philanthropy in America

Author: Olivier Zunz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400850242
Release Date: 2014-03-10
Genre: History

American philanthropy today expands knowledge, champions social movements, defines active citizenship, influences policymaking, and addresses humanitarian crises. How did philanthropy become such a powerful and integral force in American society? Philanthropy in America is the first book to explore in depth the twentieth-century growth of this unique phenomenon. Ranging from the influential large-scale foundations established by tycoons such as John D. Rockefeller, Sr., and the mass mobilization of small donors by the Red Cross and March of Dimes, to the recent social advocacy of individuals like Bill Gates and George Soros, respected historian Olivier Zunz chronicles the tight connections between private giving and public affairs, and shows how this union has enlarged democracy and shaped history. Demonstrating that America has cultivated and relied on philanthropy more than any other country, Philanthropy in America examines how giving for the betterment of all became embedded in the fabric of the nation's civic democracy.

Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race

Author: Kevin J. McMahon
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226561127
Release Date: 2010-02-15
Genre: Social Science

Many have questioned FDR's record on race, suggesting that he had the opportunity but not the will to advance the civil rights of African Americans. Kevin J. McMahon challenges this view, arguing instead that Roosevelt's administration played a crucial role in the Supreme Court's increasing commitment to racial equality—which culminated in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. McMahon shows how FDR's attempt to strengthen the presidency and undermine the power of conservative Southern Democrats dovetailed with his efforts to seek racial equality through the federal courts. By appointing a majority of rights-based liberals deferential to presidential power, Roosevelt ensured that the Supreme Court would be receptive to civil rights claims, especially when those claims had the support of the executive branch.

The Partisan

Author: John A. Jenkins
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586488871
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Follows Rehnquist's career as a young lawyer in Arizona through his journey to Washington though the Warren and Burger courts to his twenty-year tenure as a Supreme Court Chief Justice who favored government power over individual rights.

The Bilingual Courtroom

Author: Susan Berk-Seligson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226329475
Release Date: 2017-05-23
Genre: Law

Susan Berk-Seligson’s groundbreaking book draws on more than one hundred hours of audio recordings of Spanish/English court proceedings in federal, state, and municipal courts—along with a number of psycholinguistic experiments involving mock juror reactions to interpreted testimony—to present a systematic study of court interpreters that raises some alarming, vitally important concerns. Contrary to the assumption that interpreters do not affect the dynamics of court proceedings, Berk-Seligson shows that interpreters could potentially make the difference between a defendant being found guilty or not guilty of a crime. This second edition of the The Bilingual Courtroom includes a fully updated review of both theoretical and policy-oriented research relevant to the use of interpreters in legal settings, particularly from the standpoint of linguistic pragmatics. It provides new insights into interpreting in quasi-judicial, informal, and specialized judicial settings, such as small claims court, jails, and prisons; updates trends in interpreter certification and credentialing, both in the United States and abroad; explores remote interpreting (for example, by telephone) and interpreter training programs; looks at political trials and tribunals to add to our awareness of international perspectives on court interpreting; and expands upon cross-cultural issues. Also featuring a new preface by Berk-Seligson, this second edition not only highlights the impact of the previous versions of The Bilingual Courtroom, but also draws attention to the continued need for critical study of interpreting in our ever diversifying society.

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Author: Emily Zackin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400846276
Release Date: 2013-04-21
Genre: Political Science

Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution. Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism. Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.

Speaking Freely

Author: Floyd Abrams
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101201077
Release Date: 2006-04-04
Genre: Political Science

The rights guaranteed in the First Amendment—including freedom of expression—are among the fundamental touchstones of our democracy. In Speaking Freely, Floyd Abrams, who for over thirty years has been our most eloquent and respected advocate for uncensored expression, recounts some of the major cases of his remarkable career—landmark trials and Supreme Court arguments that have involved key First Amendment protections.With adversaries as diverse as Richard Nixon and Wayne Newton and allies as unlikely as Kenneth Starr, Abrams takes readers behind the scenes to explain his strategies, the ramifications of each decision, and its long-term significance, presenting a clear and compelling look at the law in action.

The Confirmation Mess

Author: Stephen L. Carter
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: UOM:39015032943204
Release Date: 1994
Genre: Political Science

Reviews the most controversial recent Congressional confirmation hearings, explains how the process became so contentious, and recommends adopting a more humane attitude towards candidates for public service

Word by Word

Author: Christopher Hager
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674067486
Release Date: 2013-02-14
Genre: Literary Criticism

Consigned to illiteracy, American slaves left little record of their thoughts and feelings—or so we have believed. But a few learned to use pen and paper to make sense of their experiences, despite prohibitions. These authors’ perspectives rewrite the history of emancipation and force us to rethink the relationship between literacy and freedom.