Injustices

The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

Author: Ian Millhiser

Publisher: Nation Books

ISBN: 1568585853

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 4615

Now with a new epilogue. Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In the Warren era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution’s promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren’t for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way. In Injustices, Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people’s elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.

Injustices

The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

Author: Ian Millhiser

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1568585853

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 2768

Now with a new epilogue. Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In the Warren era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren't for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way. In Injustices, Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people's elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.

Supreme Myths

Why the Supreme Court is Not a Court and Its Justices are Not Judges

Author: Eric J. Segall

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 0313396876

Category: Law

Page: 219

View: 3837

This book explores some of the most glaring misunderstandings about the U.S. Supreme Court—and makes a strong case for why our Supreme Court Justices should not be entrusted with decisions that affect every American citizen.

The Case Against the Supreme Court

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Penguin Books

ISBN: 0143128000

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8849

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 Conservative Assault on the Constitution

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781451606355

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 5591

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.

Billionaire Democracy

The Hijacking of the American Political System

Author: George Tyler

Publisher: BenBella Books

ISBN: 1944648933

Category: Political Science

Page: 242

View: 3101

This isn’t your America. No matter who the president is. We’re told that when we vote, when we elect representatives, we’re gaining a voice in government and the policies it implements. But if that’s true, why don’t American politics actually translate our preferences into higher-living standards for the majority of us? The answer is that, in America, the wealthy few have built a system that works in their favor, while maintaining the illusion of democracy. The reality is that the quality of democracy in the United States is lower than in any other rich democracy, on a par with nations such as Brazil or Turkey. In the US, voters have little influence on eventual policy outcomes engineered by lawmakers. Political scientists call it the income bias and attribute it to the power of wealthy donors who favor wage suppression and cuts to important government programs such as public education and consumer protection. It causes American lawmakers to compete to satisfy preferences of donors from the top one percent instead of the middle class. It’s also why our economy has been misfiring for most Americans for a generation, wages stagnating and opportunity dwindling. The election of Donald Trump shocked the world, but for many Americans, it came as a stark reflection of mounting frustrations with our current system and anger at the status quo. We need to find a way to fix the way our government serves us. The only realistic pathway to improve middle-class economics is for Congress and the Supreme Court to raise the quality of American democracy. In Billionaire Democracy: The Hijacking of the American Political System, economist George R. Tyler lays out the fundamental problems plaguing our democracy. He explains how the American democratic system is rigged and how it has eroded the middle class, providing an unflinching and honest comparison of the US government to peer democracies abroad. He also breaks down where we fall short and how other rich democracies avoid the income bias created by the overwhelming role of money in US politics. Finally, Tyler outlines practical campaign finance reforms we can adopt when we finally focus on improving the political responsiveness of our government. It’s time for the people of this nation to demand a government that properly serves us, the American people.

The Warren Court and American Politics

Author: L. A. Scot Powe

Publisher: Belknap Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 566

View: 4828

In learned and lively narrative, Powe discusses over 200 significant rulings of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren, especially the explosive "Brown" decision, which fundamentally challenged the Southern way of life. 13 halftones.

Judicial Politics in the United States

Author: Mark C. Miller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429973233

Category: Political Science

Page: 448

View: 6925

Judicial Politics in the United States examines the role of courts as policymaking institutions and their interactions with the other branches of government and other political actors in the U.S. political system. Not only does this book cover the nuts and bolts of the functions, structures and processes of our courts and legal system, it goes beyond other judicial process books by exploring how the courts interact with executives, legislatures, and state and federal bureaucracies. It also includes a chapter devoted to the courts' interactions with interest groups, the media, and general public opinion and a chapter that looks at how American courts and judges interact with other judiciaries around the world. Judicial Politics in the United States balances coverage of judicial processes with discussions of the courts' interactions with our larger political universe, making it an essential text for students of judicial politics.

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Author: Scott Dodson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107062462

Category: Law

Page: 326

View: 5398

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a legal icon. In more than four decades as a lawyer, professor, appellate judge, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg has influenced the law and society in real and permanent ways. This book chronicles and evaluates the remarkable achievements Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made over the past half century. Including chapters written by prominent court watchers and leading scholars from law, political science, and history, it offers diverse perspectives on an array of doctrinal areas and on different time periods in Ginsburg's career. Together, these perspectives document the impressive legacy of one of the most important figures in modern law.

Advice & Consent

Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and the Intriguing History of the Supreme Court's Nomination Battles

Author: Paul Simon

Publisher: National PressBooks

ISBN: N.A

Category: Judges

Page: 328

View: 7755

Chronicles the Senate's role in confirmation proceedings since the George Washington administration and suggests changes in the process

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: 030774132X

Category: Law

Page: 544

View: 5654

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.

Justice Stephen Field's Cooperative Constitution of Liberty

Liberty in Full

Author: Adam M. Carrington

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 149855444X

Category: Political Science

Page: 198

View: 9598

This book examines liberty’s Constitutional meaning through the jurisprudence of Justice Stephen Field, one of the late-Nineteenth Century’s most influential Supreme Court Justices. A Lincoln appointee who served on the Court from 1863-1897, Field articulated a view of Constitutional liberty that speaks to contemporary disputes. Today, some see liberty as protection through government regulation against private oppression. Others see liberty as protection from government through limits on governmental power. Justice Field is often viewed as siding against government power to regulate, acting as a pre-cursor to the infamous “Lochner” Era of the Court. This work explains how Field instead saw both these competing conceptions of liberty as legitimate. In fact, the two cooperated toward a common end. In his opinions, Field argued that protections through and from government worked in tandem to guard fundamental individual rights. In describing this view of liberty, Field addressed key Constitutional provisions that remain a source of debate, including some of the earliest interpretations of the Due Process Clause, its relationship to state police power and civil rights, and some of the earliest assertions of a national police power through the Commerce Clause. This work furthermore addresses the underpinnings of Field’s views, namely that he grounded his reading of the Constitution in the context of the common law and the Declaration of Independence. In his principles as well as his approach, this book argues, Justice Field presents a helpful discussant in ongoing debates regarding the meaning of liberty and of the Constitution.

Engines of Liberty

The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law

Author: David Cole

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0465060900

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 6523


American Gospel

God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation

Author: Jon Meacham

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781588365774

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 6394

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

The Hollow Hope

Can Courts Bring About Social Change? Second Edition

Author: Gerald N. Rosenberg

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226726687

Category: Political Science

Page: 534

View: 9831

In follow-up studies, dozens of reviews, and even a book of essays evaluating his conclusions, Gerald Rosenberg’s critics—not to mention his supporters—have spent nearly two decades debating the arguments he first put forward in The Hollow Hope. With this substantially expanded second edition of his landmark work, Rosenberg himself steps back into the fray, responding to criticism and adding chapters on the same-sex marriage battle that ask anew whether courts can spur political and social reform. Finding that the answer is still a resounding no, Rosenberg reaffirms his powerful contention that it’s nearly impossible to generate significant reforms through litigation. The reason? American courts are ineffective and relatively weak—far from the uniquely powerful sources for change they’re often portrayed as. Rosenberg supports this claim by documenting the direct and secondary effects of key court decisions—particularly Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. He reveals, for example, that Congress, the White House, and a determined civil rights movement did far more than Brown to advance desegregation, while pro-choice activists invested too much in Roe at the expense of political mobilization. Further illuminating these cases, as well as the ongoing fight for same-sex marriage rights, Rosenberg also marshals impressive evidence to overturn the common assumption that even unsuccessful litigation can advance a cause by raising its profile. Directly addressing its critics in a new conclusion, The Hollow Hope, Second Edition promises to reignite for a new generation the national debate it sparked seventeen years ago.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Author: Frederick Douglass

Publisher: Big Nest via PublishDrive

ISBN: 1910833819

Category: Fiction

Page: 106

View: 9032

One of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life.

The Roberts Court

The Struggle for the Constitution

Author: Marcia Coyle

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 145162753X

Category: Political Science

Page: 416

View: 1289

The Roberts Court, seven years old, sits at the center of a constitutional maelstrom. Through four landmark decisions, Marcia Coyle, one of the most prestigious experts on the Supreme Court, reveals the fault lines in the conservative-dominated Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Seven minutes after President Obama put his signature to a landmark national health care insurance program, a lawyer in the office of Florida GOP attorney general Bill McCollum hit a computer key, sparking a legal challenge to the new law that would eventually reach the nation’s highest court. Health care is only the most visible and recent front in a battle over the meaning and scope of the U.S. Constitution. The battleground is the United States Supreme Court, and one of the most skilled, insightful, and trenchant of its observers takes us close up to watch it in action. Marcia Coyle’s brilliant inside account of the High Court captures four landmark decisions—concerning health care, money in elections, guns at home, and race in schools. Coyle examines how those cases began—the personalities and conflicts that catapulted them onto the national scene—and how they ultimately exposed the great divides among the justices, such as the originalists versus the pragmatists on guns and the Second Amendment, and corporate speech versus human speech in the controversial Citizens United campaign case. Most dramatically, her analysis shows how dedicated conservative lawyers and groups are strategizing to find cases and crafting them to bring up the judicial road to the Supreme Court with an eye on a receptive conservative majority. The Roberts Court offers a ringside seat at the struggle to lay down the law of the land.

Redeeming the Dream

The Case for Marriage Equality

Author: Theodore B. Olson,David Boies

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698135369

Category: Law

Page: 320

View: 3385

“Breathtakingly inspiring.” —Laurence H. Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School When advocates for marriage equality sought to challenge California’s notorious Proposition 8, they were fortunate to have the support of two of the nation’s preeminent lawyers, David Boies and Theodore B. Olson. Despite the fact that they had argued against one another in the landmark Bush v. Gore case, their commitment to the marriage issue led them to join forces, ultimately defeating the unconstitutional proposition in the Supreme Court after a nearly five-year battle. Redeeming the Dream is the definitive inside account of the key civil rights struggle of our time.