A History of the Supreme Court

Author: the late Bernard Schwartz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199840557

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 2661

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When the first Supreme Court convened in 1790, it was so ill-esteemed that its justices frequently resigned in favor of other pursuits. John Rutledge stepped down as Associate Justice to become a state judge in South Carolina; John Jay resigned as Chief Justice to run for Governor of New York; and Alexander Hamilton declined to replace Jay, pursuing a private law practice instead. As Bernard Schwartz shows in this landmark history, the Supreme Court has indeed travelled a long and interesting journey to its current preeminent place in American life. In A History of the Supreme Court, Schwartz provides the finest, most comprehensive one-volume narrative ever published of our highest court. With impeccable scholarship and a clear, engaging style, he tells the story of the justices and their jurisprudence--and the influence the Court has had on American politics and society. With a keen ability to explain complex legal issues for the nonspecialist, he takes us through both the great and the undistinguished Courts of our nation's history. He provides insight into our foremost justices, such as John Marshall (who established judicial review in Marbury v. Madison, an outstanding display of political calculation as well as fine jurisprudence), Roger Taney (whose legacy has been overshadowed by Dred Scott v. Sanford), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, and others. He draws on evidence such as personal letters and interviews to show how the court has worked, weaving narrative details into deft discussions of the developments in constitutional law. Schwartz also examines the operations of the court: until 1935, it met in a small room under the Senate--so cramped that the judges had to put on their robes in full view of the spectators. But when the new building was finally opened, one justice called it "almost bombastically pretentious," and another asked, "What are we supposed to do, ride in on nine elephants?" He includes fascinating asides, on the debate in the first Court, for instance, over the use of English-style wigs and gowns (the decision: gowns, no wigs); and on the day Oliver Wendell Holmes announced his resignation--the same day that Earl Warren, as a California District Attorney, argued his first case before the Court. The author brings the story right up to the present day, offering balanced analyses of the pivotal Warren Court and the Rehnquist Court through 1992 (including, of course, the arrival of Clarence Thomas). In addition, he includes four special chapters on watershed cases: Dred Scott v. Sanford, Lochner v. New York, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade. Schwartz not only analyzes the impact of each of these epoch-making cases, he takes us behind the scenes, drawing on all available evidence to show how the justices debated the cases and how they settled on their opinions. Bernard Schwartz is one of the most highly regarded scholars of the Supreme Court, author of dozens of books on the law, and winner of the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award. In this remarkable account, he provides the definitive one-volume account of our nation's highest court.
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A History of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Author: Theodore Brown (Jr.)

Publisher: Univ. of Tennessee Press

ISBN: 9781572331785

Category: History

Page: 459

View: 8432

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In this first comprehensive history of the Tennessee Supreme Court, seven leading scholars explore the role played by the Court in the social, economic, and political life of the state. Charting the evolution and organization of the Court (and its predecessor, the Superior Court of Law and Equity), the authors also assess the work of the Court within the larger context of the legal history of the South. Arranged chronologically, this volume covers the period from statehood in 1796 through the judicial election of 1998 and traces the range of contentious issues the Court has faced, including slavery, Reconstruction, economic rights, the regulation of business, and race and gender relations. The authors also outline the Court's relationship with the Supreme Court of the United States and chronicle the achievements of the Court in public and private law, state constitutional law, property law, criminal justice, and family law. The central themes that emerge include the nature of federalism, the search for judicial independence, and the practice of judicial review. As the authors demonstrate, the work of the Tennessee Supreme Court highlights the importance of state courts to the federal system and illuminates the interplay between regionalism and national norms in shaping a state's legal culture. Indeed, as mediator of conflicts between traditional southern values and national economic and social trends, the Court has generally, if sometimes belatedly, adopted national legal standards. Further, while the Court has tended to defer to the state's legislative decision-making process, it has on occasion assumed a more activist role in order to assert individual rights for Tennessee'scitizens. Sponsored by the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, this book is written for anyone interested in Tennessee history in general or legal history in particular. Appendixes include a comprehensive table of cases and biographical information about all the Court's judges.
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The Supreme Court in United States History

Author: Charles Warren

Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.

ISBN: 1616405198

Category: Law

Page: 568

View: 7495

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The Supreme Court in United States History is a three-volume history of the U.S. Supreme Court, detailing its establishment, the major cases reviewed and decided by the Court, the historical events surrounding cases and decisions, and the effects that Supreme Court decisions had on the public. Author Charles Warren often references newspaper and magazine articles and letters in an attempt to capture the spirit of the times. Written with one eye on the Court and one eye on people, The Supreme Court in United States History was "an attempt to revivify the important cases decided by the Court and to picture the Court itself from year to year in its contemporary setting." Volume I describes Supreme Court History from 1789 to 1821, including the establishment of the first courts and the circuit, state sovereignty and neutrality, The Mandamus Case, impeachment and treason, Pennsylvania and Georgia against the Court, The Bank of the United States, and various Chief Justices throughout this time period. CHARLES WARREN (1868-1954) was an American legal historian and lawyer. Warren graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School, and received his Doctorate from Columbia University. In 1894, he founded the Immigration Restriction League with fellow Harvard graduates Prescott Hall and Robert DeCourcy Ward. He authored several legal history books, including A History of the American Bar, The Supreme Court in United States History, and The Making of the Constitution, and won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1923. Warren was the Assistant Attorney General from 1914 to 1918 during Woodrow Wilson's Presidency and drafted the Espionage Act of 1917.
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Justices, Presidents, and Senators

A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Clinton

Author: Henry Julian Abraham

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780847696055

Category: History

Page: 429

View: 2053

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Totally revised and updated, this classic history of the 108 members of the U.S. Supreme addresses the vital questions of why individual justices were nominated to the highest court, how their nominations were received, whether the appointees ultimately lived up to the expectations of the American public, and what their legacy was on the development of American law and society.
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The History of the Supreme Court of the United States

Author: Owen M. Fiss

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521860277

Category: Constitutional history

Page: 426

View: 9216

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This highly interpretive and eminently readable study of the Supreme Court during the period in which Melvin Fuller was Chief Justice offers a complete account of the cases the Court saw during one of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history.
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A People's History of the Supreme Court

The Men and Women Whose Cases and Decisions Have Shaped OurConstitution: Revised Edition

Author: Peter Irons

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101503133

Category: Political Science

Page: 576

View: 8156

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A comprehensive history of the people and cases that have changed history, this is the definitive account of the nation's highest court Recent changes in the Supreme Court have placed the venerable institution at the forefront of current affairs, making this comprehensive and engaging work as timely as ever. In the tradition of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, Peter Irons chronicles the decisions that have influenced virtually every aspect of our society, from the debates over judicial power to controversial rulings in the past regarding slavery, racial segregation, and abortion, as well as more current cases about school prayer, the Bush/Gore election results, and "enemy combatants." To understand key issues facing the supreme court and the current battle for the court's ideological makeup, there is no better guide than Peter Irons. This revised and updated edition includes a foreword by Howard Zinn. "A sophisticated narrative history of the Supreme Court . . . [Irons] breathes abundant life into old documents and reminds readers that today's fiercest arguments about rights are the continuation of the endless American conversation." -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
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Out of Order

Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

Author: Sandra Day O'Connor

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0812993934

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 9531

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “I called this book Out of Order because it reflects my goal, which is to share a different side of the Supreme Court. Most people know the Court only as it exists between bangs of the gavel, when the Court comes to order to hear arguments or give opinions. But the stories of the Court and the Justices that come from the ‘out of order’ moments add to the richness of the Court as both a branch of our government and a human institution.”—Justice Sandra Day O’Connor From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land. Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices who also served as trial judges traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury v. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the Court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress. With unparalleled insight and her unique perspective as a history-making figure, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of Justices in history, including Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., one of the greatest jurists of all time; Thurgood Marshall, whose understated and succinct style would come to transform oral argument; William O. Douglas, called “The Lone Ranger” because of his impassioned and frequent dissents; and John Roberts, whom Justice O’Connor considers to be the finest practitioner of oral argument she has ever witnessed in Court. We get a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the Justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next—from the seating arrangements at Court lunches to the fiercely competitive basketball games played in the Court Building’s top-floor gymnasium, the so-called “highest court in the land.” Wise, candid, and assured, Out of Order is a rich offering of inspiring stories of one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers. Praise for Out of Order “[A] succinct, snappy account of how today’s court—so powerful, so controversial and so frequently dissected by the media—evolved from such startlingly humble and uncertain beginnings.”—The New York Times “A brief and accessible history of the nation’s highest court, narrated by a true historical figure and a jurisprudential giant.”—The Boston Globe “A vibrantly personal book [that] displays O’Connor’s uncommon common sense, her dry wit and her reverence for the nation’s institutions.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Full of riveting anecdotes . . . a compact history . . . albeit a more lighthearted, personality-filled one than you might find in a high school classroom.”—Associated Press From the Hardcover edition.
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Dissent and the Supreme Court

Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue

Author: Melvin I. Urofsky

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 110187063X

Category: Law

Page: 544

View: 8009

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From the admired judicial authority, author of Louis D. Brandeis (“Remarkable”—Anthony Lewis, The New York Review of Books; “Monumental”—Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review), Division and Discord, and Supreme Decisions—Melvin Urofsky’s major new book looks at the role of dissent in the Supreme Court and the meaning of the Constitution through the greatest and longest lasting public-policy debate in the country’s history, among members of the Supreme Court, between the Court and the other branches of government, and between the Court and the people of the United States. Urofsky writes of the necessity of constitutional dialogue as one of the ways in which we as a people reinvent and reinvigorate our democratic society. In Dissent and the Supreme Court, he explores the great dissents throughout the Court’s 225-year history. He discusses in detail the role the Supreme Court has played in helping to define what the Constitution means, how the Court’s majority opinions have not always been right, and how the dissenters, by positing alternative interpretations, have initiated a critical dialogue about what a particular decision should mean. This dialogue is sometimes resolved quickly; other times it may take decades before the Court adjusts its position. Louis Brandeis’s dissenting opinion about wiretapping became the position of the Court four decades after it was written. The Court took six decades to adopt the dissenting opinion of the first Justice John Harlan in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)—that segregation on the basis of race violated the Constitution—in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Urofsky shows that the practice of dissent grew slowly but steadily and that in the nineteenth century dissents became more frequent. In the (in)famous case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Chief Justice Roger Taney’s opinion upheld slavery, declaring that blacks could never be citizens. The justice received intense condemnations from several of his colleagues, but it took a civil war and three constitutional amendments before the dissenting view prevailed and Dred Scott was overturned. Urofsky looks as well at the many aspects of American constitutional life that were affected by the Earl Warren Court—free speech, race, judicial appointment, and rights of the accused—and shows how few of these decisions were unanimous, and how the dissents in the earlier cases molded the results of later decisions; how with Roe v. Wade—the Dred Scott of the modern era—dissent fashioned subsequent decisions, and how, in the Court, a dialogue that began with the dissents in Roe has shaped every decision since. Urofsky writes of the rise of conservatism and discusses how the resulting appointments of more conservative jurists to the bench put the last of the Warren liberals—William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall—in increasingly beleaguered positions, and in the minority. He discusses the present age of incivility, in which reasoned dialogue seems less and less possible. Yet within the Marble Palace, the members of the Supreme Court continue to hear arguments, vote, and draft majority opinions, while the minority continues to “respectfully dissent.” The Framers understood that if a constitution doesn’t grow and adapt, it atrophies and dies, and if it does, so does the democratic society it has supported. Dissent—on the Court and off, Urofsky argues—has been a crucial ingredient in keeping the Constitution alive and must continue to be so. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.
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