The Federalist Society

Author: Michael Avery
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
ISBN: 9780826518774
Release Date: 2013
Genre: History

Looks at how the conservative ideas of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies rose to a position of dominance in law and politics.

Ideas with Consequences

Author: Amanda Hollis-Brusky
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199385522
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Political Science

"There are few intellectual movements in American political history more successful than the Federalist Society. Created in 1982 to counterbalance what its founders considered a liberal legal establishment, the organization has now become the conservative legal establishment, and membership is all but required for any conservative lawyer who hopes to enter politics or the judiciary. It can claim 40,000 members, including four Supreme Court Justices, dozens of federal judges, and every Republican attorney general since its inception. But its power goes even deeper. In Ideas with Consequences, Amanda Hollis-Brusky, an expert on conservative legal movements, provides the first ever comprehensive documentation of how the Federalist Society exerts its influence. Drawing from a huge trove of documents, transcripts, and interviews, she presents a series of important legal questions and explains how the Federalist Society managed to revolutionize the jurisprudence for each one. Many of these questions--including the powers of the federal government, the individual right to bear arms, and the parameters of corporate political speech--had long been considered settled. But the Federalist Society was able to upend the existing conventional wisdom, promoting constitutional theories that had previously been dismissed as ludicrously radical. Hollis-Brusky argues that the Federalist Society offers several of the crucial ingredients needed to accomplish this constitutional revolution. It serves as a credentialing institution for conservative lawyers and judges, legitimizes novel interpretations of the constitution through a conservative framework, and provides a judicial audience of like-minded peers, which prevents the well-documented phenomenon of conservative judges turning moderate after years on the bench. Through these functions, it is able to exercise enormous influence on important cases at every level. With unparalleled research and analysis of some of the hottest political and judicial issues of our time, Ideas with Consequences is the essential guide to the Federalist Society at a time when its power has broader implications than ever"--

The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement The Battle for Control of the Law

Author: Steven M. Teles
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069114625X
Release Date: 2010-02-14
Genre: Law

Starting in the 1970s, conservatives learned that electoral victory did not easily convert into a reversal of important liberal accomplishments, especially in the law. As a result, conservatives' mobilizing efforts increasingly turned to law schools, professional networks, public interest groups, and the judiciary--areas traditionally controlled by liberals. Drawing from internal documents, as well as interviews with key conservative figures, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement examines this sometimes fitful, and still only partially successful, conservative challenge to liberal domination of the law and American legal institutions. Unlike accounts that depict the conservatives as fiendishly skilled, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement reveals the formidable challenges that conservatives faced in competing with legal liberalism. Steven Teles explores how conservative mobilization was shaped by the legal profession, the legacy of the liberal movement, and the difficulties in matching strategic opportunities with effective organizational responses. He explains how foundations and groups promoting conservative ideas built a network designed to dislodge legal liberalism from American elite institutions. And he portrays the reality, not of a grand strategy masterfully pursued, but of individuals and political entrepreneurs learning from trial and error. Using previously unavailable materials from the Olin Foundation, Federalist Society, Center for Individual Rights, Institute for Justice, and Law and Economics Center, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement provides an unprecedented look at the inner life of the conservative movement. Lawyers, historians, sociologists, political scientists, and activists seeking to learn from the conservative experience in the law will find it compelling reading.


Author: Bruce Allen Murphy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743296502
Release Date: 2015-06-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A deeply researched portrait of the controversial Supreme Court justice includes coverage of his career achievements, his appointment in 1986 and his party-dividing resolve to support agendas from an ethical, rather than political, perspective.

Our Republican Constitution

Author: Randy E. Barnett
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062412300
Release Date: 2016-04-19
Genre: Political Science

A concise history of the long struggle between two fundamentally opposing constitutional traditions, from one of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars—a manifesto for renewing our constitutional republic. The Constitution of the United States begins with the words: “We the People.” But from the earliest days of the American republic, there have been two competing notions of “the People,” which lead to two very different visions of the Constitution. Those who view “We the People” collectively think popular sovereignty resides in the people as a group, which leads them to favor a “democratic” constitution that allows the “will of the people” to be expressed by majority rule. In contrast, those who think popular sovereignty resides in the people as individuals contend that a “republican” constitution is needed to secure the pre-existing inalienable rights of “We the People,” each and every one, against abuses by the majority. In Our Republican Constitution, renowned legal scholar Randy E. Barnett tells the fascinating story of how this debate arose shortly after the Revolution, leading to the adoption of a new and innovative “republican” constitution; and how the struggle over slavery led to its completion by a newly formed Republican Party. Yet soon thereafter, progressive academics and activists urged the courts to remake our Republican Constitution into a democratic one by ignoring key passes of its text. Eventually, the courts complied. Drawing from his deep knowledge of constitutional law and history, as well as his experience litigating on behalf of medical marijuana and against Obamacare, Barnett explains why “We the People” would greatly benefit from the renewal of our Republican Constitution, and how this can be accomplished in the courts and the political arena.

Judicial Review and American Conservatism

Author: Robert Daniel Rubin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108161626
Release Date: 2017-03-31
Genre: History

The Christian Right of the 1980s forged its political identity largely in response to what it perceived as liberal 'judicial activism'. Robert Daniel Rubin tells this story as it played out in Mobile, Alabama. There, a community conflict pitted a group of conservative evangelicals, a sympathetic federal judge, and a handful of conservative intellectuals against a religious agnostic opposed to prayer in schools, and a school system accused of promoting a religion called 'secular humanism'. The twists in the Mobile conflict speak to the changes and continuities that marked the relationship of 1980s' religious conservatism to democracy, the courts, and the Constitution. By alternately focusing its gaze on the local conflict and related events in Washington, DC, this book weaves a captivating narrative. Historians, political scientists, and constitutional lawyers will find, in Rubin's study, a challenging new perspective on the history of the Christian Right in the United States.

Dark Money

Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385535601
Release Date: 2016-01-19
Genre: Political Science

Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws. The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights. When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.” These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network. The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied. Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews-including with several sources within the network-and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy. Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

Principled Judicial Restraint A Case Against Activism

Author: Jerold Waltman
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9781137486967
Release Date: 2015-06-12
Genre: Political Science

Like many books, this one argues for a more restrained Supreme Court. Unlike most other books, however, this one grounds that call in a fully elaborated constitutional theory that goes beyond the "counter-majoritarian difficulty."

Political Economy A Comparative Approach 3rd Edition

Author: Barry Clark Professor Emeritus
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9781440843266
Release Date: 2016-03-21
Genre: Political Science

This nontechnical book provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary survey of political economy that can easily be understood by any reader with an introductory-level background in economics. • Provides in-depth historical analysis of the development of political/economic ideologies and their influence on contemporary debates among social scientists as well as the general public • Gathers ideas and policy proposals from many prominent social scientists representing divergent ideological perspectives into a single volume • Analyzes the roles of science and ideology in the development of political economy • Exposes students to the findings of advanced social science research in easily understood and accessible language

Fighting over the Founders

Author: Andrew M. Schocket
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814771174
Release Date: 2015-01-23
Genre: History

The American Revolution is all around us. It is pictured as big as billboards and as small as postage stamps, evoked in political campaigns and car advertising campaigns, relived in museums and revised in computer games. As the nation’s founding moment, the American Revolution serves as a source of powerful founding myths, and remains the most accessible and most contested event in U.S. history: more than any other, it stands as a proxy for how Americans perceive the nation’s aspirations. Americans’ increased fascination with the Revolution over the past two decades represents more than interest in the past. It’s also a site to work out the present, and the future. What are we using the Revolution to debate? In Fighting over the Founders, Andrew M. Schocket explores how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, jurists, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. Identifying competing “essentialist” and “organicist” interpretations of the American Revolution, Schocket shows how today’s memories of the American Revolution reveal Americans' conflicted ideas about class, about race, and about gender—as well as the nature of history itself. Fighting over the Founders plumbs our views of the past and the present, and illuminates our ideas of what United States means to its citizens in the new millennium. Instructor's Guide

The Great Suppression

Author: Zachary Roth
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN: 9781101905760
Release Date: 2016-08-02
Genre: Political Science

A deeply reported look inside the new conservative movement working to undermine American democracy. Control of the country is up for grabs and Republicans have been rigging the game in their favor. Twenty-two states have passed restrictions on voting. Ruthless gerrymandering has given the GOP a long-term grip on Congress. Meanwhile, theSupreme Court has eviscerated campaign finance laws, boosting candidates backed by big money. It would be worrying enough if these were just schemes for partisan advantage. But the reality is even more disturbing. As reporter Zachary Roth reveals, a growing number of Republicans distrust the very idea of democracy and they re doing everything they canto limit it. In"The Great Suppression," Roth unearths the deep historical roots of this anti-egalitarian worldview, and introduces us toits modern-day proponents: The GOP officials pushing to make it harder to cast a ballot; the lawyers looking to scrap all limits on money in politics; the libertarian scholars reclaiming judicial activism to roll back the New Deal; and the corporate lobbyists working toban local action on everything from the minimum wage to the environment.And he travels from Rust Belt cities to southern towns to show us how these efforts are hurting the most vulnerable Americans and preventing progress on pressing issues. A sharp, searing polemic in the tradition of Rachel Maddow and Matt Taibbi, "The Great Suppression"is an urgent wake-up call about a threat to our most cherished values, and a rousing argument for why we need democracy now more than ever."

The Crisis of the Middle Class Constitution

Author: Ganesh Sitaraman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780451493927
Release Date: 2017-03-14
Genre: Law

In this original, provocative contribution to the debate over economic inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman argues that a strong and sizable middle class is a prerequisite for America’s constitutional system. A New York Times Notable Book of 2017 For most of Western history, Sitaraman argues, constitutional thinkers assumed economic inequality was inevitable and inescapable—and they designed governments to prevent class divisions from spilling over into class warfare. The American Constitution is different. Compared to Europe and the ancient world, America was a society of almost unprecedented economic equality, and the founding generation saw this equality as essential for the preservation of America’s republic. Over the next two centuries, generations of Americans fought to sustain the economic preconditions for our constitutional system. But today, with economic and political inequality on the rise, Sitaraman says Americans face a choice: Will we accept rising economic inequality and risk oligarchy or will we rebuild the middle class and reclaim our republic? The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution is a tour de force of history, philosophy, law, and politics. It makes a compelling case that inequality is more than just a moral or economic problem; it threatens the very core of our constitutional system.

Judicial Politics in the United States

Author: Mark C. Miller
Publisher: Westview Press
ISBN: 9780813346793
Release Date: 2014-08-05
Genre: Political Science

This textbook explains the basics of the U.S. court system while also exploring the judiciary within a broader political context.

Supreme Court Review 2016

Author: Dennis J. Hutchinson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226490847
Release Date: 2017-06-22
Genre: Law

For more than fifty years, The Supreme Court Review has won acclaim for providing a sustained and authoritative survey of the implications of the Court’s most significant decisions. The Supreme Court Review is an in-depth annual critique of the Supreme Court and its work, keeping up on the forefront of the origins, reforms, and interpretations of American law. It is written by and for legal academics, judges, political scientists, journalists, historians, economists, policy planners, and sociologists.


Author: Steven G. Calabresi
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 1596980605
Release Date: 2007-08-21
Genre: Political Science

What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country. Inside you'll find: *A foreword by Justice Antonin Scalia and speeches by former attorney general Edwin Meese III, Justice William Brennan, Judge Robert H. Bork, and President Ronald Reagan *Transcripts from panel discussions and debates engaging some of the brightest legal minds of our time in frank, open discussions about the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States and its impact on the rule of law in our country *A debate on the original meaning of the Commerce, Spending, and Necessary and Proper Clauses *Concluding thoughts by Theodore Olson, forty-second solicitor general of the United States and a fellow at both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.