Nixon's Court

His Challenge to Judicial Liberalism and Its Political Consequences

Author: Kevin J. McMahon

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226561216

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 6028

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 Chief Justice

Appointment and Influence

Author: Artemus Ward,David J Danelski

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472121952

Category: Political Science

Page: 512

View: 8385

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.”

Judicial Politics in the United States

Author: Mark C. Miller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429973233

Category: Political Science

Page: 448

View: 4058

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 U.S. Supreme Court and New Federalism

From the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court

Author: Christopher P. Banks,John C. Blakeman

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0742535045

Category: Law

Page: 348

View: 1356

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 Conservative Assault on the Constitution

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781451606355

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 2341

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.

The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right

Author: Michael J. Graetz,Linda Greenhouse

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476732515

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 9966

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 Case Against the Supreme Court

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Penguin Books

ISBN: 0143128000

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 980

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.

Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race

How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown

Author: Kevin J. McMahon

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226561127

Category: Social Science

Page: 308

View: 8541

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 American Supreme Court

Fifth Edition

Author: Robert G. McCloskey

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226556832

Category: Law

Page: 368

View: 482

Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, Robert McCloskey’s classic work on the Supreme Court’s role in constructing the U.S. Constitution has introduced generations of students to the workings of our nation’s highest court. For this new fifth edition, Sanford Levinson extends McCloskey’s magisterial treatment to address the Court’s most recent decisions. As in prior editions, McCloskey’s original text remains unchanged. In his historical interpretation, he argues that the strength of the Court has always been its sensitivity to the changing political scene, as well as its reluctance to stray too far from the main currents of public sentiments. In two revised chapters, Levinson shows how McCloskey’s approach continues to illuminate developments since 2005, including the Court’s decisions in cases arising out of the War on Terror, which range from issues of civil liberty to tests of executive power. He also discusses the Court’s skepticism regarding campaign finance regulation; its affirmation of the right to bear arms; and the increasingly important nomination and confirmation process of Supreme Court justices, including that of the first Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor. The best and most concise account of the Supreme Court and its place in American politics, McCloskey's wonderfully readable book is an essential guide to the past, present, and future prospects of this institution.

The Confirmation Mess

Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process

Author: Stephen L. Carter

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 252

View: 1140

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

The Strange Death of American Liberalism

Author: H. W. Brands

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300098242

Category: History

Page: 200

View: 2771

In this provocative book, H. W. Brands confronts the vital question of why an ever-increasing number of Americans do not trust the federal government to improve their lives and to heal major social ills. How is it that government has come to be seen as the source of many of our problems, rather than the potential means of their solution? How has the word liberal become a term of abuse in American political discourse? From the Revolution on, argues Brands, Americans have been chronically skeptical of their government. This book succinctly traces this skepticism, demonstrating that it is only during periods of war that Americans have set aside their distrust and looked to their government to defend them. The Cold War, Brands shows, created an extended--and historically anomalous--period of dependence, thereby allowing for the massive expansion of the American welfare state. Since the 1970s, and the devastating blow dealt to Cold War ideology by America’s defeat in Vietnam, Americans have returned to their characteristic distrust of government. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Brands contends, the fate of American liberalism was sealed--and we continue to live with the consequences of its demise.

Liberalism

The Life of an Idea, Second Edition

Author: Edmund Fawcett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889677

Category: Political Science

Page: 536

View: 9884

Despite playing a decisive role in shaping the past two hundred years of American and European politics, liberalism is no longer the dominant force it once was. In this expanded and updated edition of what has become a classic history of liberalism, Edmund Fawcett traces its ideals, successes, and failures through the lives and ideas of exemplary thinkers and politicians from the early nineteenth century to today. Significant revisions--including a new conclusion--reflect recent changes affecting the world political order that many see as presenting new and very potent threats to the survival of liberal democracy as we know it. A richly detailed account of a vulnerable but critically important political creed, this book reminds us that to defend liberalism it is vital to understand its character and history.

The Other Rights Revolution

Conservative Lawyers and the Remaking of American Government

Author: Assistant Professor of American Studies and Political Science Jefferson Decker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190467312

Category: Cause lawyers

Page: 296

View: 6426

In 1973, a group of California lawyers formed a non-profit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to defending conservative principles in court. Calling themselves the Pacific Legal Foundation, they declared war on the U.S. regulatory state--the sets of rules, legal precedents, and bureaucratic processes that govern the way Americans do business. Believing that the growing size and complexity of government regulations threatened U.S. economy and infringed on property rights, Pacific Legal Foundation began to file a series of lawsuits challenging the government's power to plan the use of private land or protect environmental qualities. By the end of the decade, they had been joined in this effort by spin-off legal foundations across the country. The Other Rights Revolution explains how a little-known collection of lawyers and politicians--with some help from angry property owners and bulldozer-driving Sagebrush Rebels--tried to bring liberal government to heel in the final decades of the twentieth century. Decker demonstrates how legal and constitutional battles over property rights, preservation, and the environment helped to shape the political ideas and policy agendas of modern conservatism. By uncovering the history--including the regionally distinctive experiences of the American West--behind the conservative mobilization in the courts, Decker offers a new interpretation of the Reagan-era right.

Law and Order

Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s

Author: Michael W. Flamm

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023111513X

Category: History

Page: 294

View: 1257

In the mid-1960s, amid a pervasive sense that American society was coming apart at the seams, a new issue known as 'law and order' emerged at the forefront of national politics. First introduced by Barry Goldwater in his ill-fated run for president in 1964, it eventually punished Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats and propelled Richard Nixon and the Republicans to the White House in 1968. In this thought-provoking study, Michael W. Flamm examines how conservatives successfully blamed liberals for the rapid rise in street crime and then skillfully used law and order to link the understandable fears of white voters to growing unease about changing moral values, the civil rights movement, urban disorder, and antiwar protests. Liberals, Flamm argues, were by contrast unable to craft a compelling message for anxious voters. Instead, they either ignored the crime crisis, claimed that law and order was a racist ruse, or maintained that social programs would solve the "root causes" of civil unrest. By 1968, this seemed increasingly unlikely and contributed to a loss of faith in the ability of the government to do what it was above all sworn to do-protect personal security and private property.

American Original

The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Author: Joan Biskupic

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

ISBN: 9781429990011

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 7896

The first full-scale biography of the Supreme Court's most provocative—and influential—justice If the U.S. Supreme Court teaches us anything, it is that almost everything is open to interpretation. Almost. But what's inarguable is that, while the Court has witnessed a succession of larger-than-life jurists in its two-hundred-year-plus history, it has never seen the likes of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Combative yet captivating, infuriating yet charming, the outspoken jurist remains a source of curiosity to observers across the political spectrum and on both sides of the ideological divide. And after nearly a quarter century on the bench, Scalia may be at the apex of his power. Agree with him or not, Scalia is "the justice who has had the most important impact over the years on how we think and talk about the law," as the Harvard law dean Elena Kagan, now U.S. Solicitor General, once put it. Scalia electrifies audiences: to hear him speak is to remember him; to read his writing is to find his phrases permanently affixed in one's mind. But for all his public grandstanding, Scalia has managed to elude biographers—until now. In American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the veteran Washington journalist Joan Biskupic presents for the first time a detailed portrait of this complicated figure and provides a comprehensive narrative that will engage Scalia's adherents and critics alike. Drawing on her long tenure covering the Court, and on unprecedented access to the justice, Biskupic delves into the circumstances of his rise and the formation of his rigorous approach to the bench. Beginning with the influence of Scalia's childhood in a first-generation Italian American home, American Original takes us through his formative years, his role in the Nixon-Ford administrations, and his trajectory through the Reagan revolution. Biskupic's careful reporting culminates with the tumult of the contemporary Supreme Court—where it was and where it's going, with Scalia helping to lead the charge. Even as Democrats control the current executive and legislative branches, the judicial branch remains rooted in conservatism. President Obama will likely appoint several new justices to the Court—but it could be years before those appointees change the tenor of the law. With his keen mind, authoritarian bent, and contentious rhetorical style, Scalia is a distinct and persuasive presence, and his tenure is far from over. This new book shows us the man in power: his world, his journey, and the far-reaching consequences of the transformed legal landscape.

The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy

Author: John Agresto

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801492778

Category: Political Science

Page: 182

View: 8381

In The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy John Agresto traces the development of American judicial power, paying close attention to what he views as the very real threat of judicial supremacy.Agresto examines the role of the judiciary in a democratic society and discusses the proper place of congressional power in constitutional issues. Agresto argues that while the separation of congressional and judicial functions is a fundamental tenet of American government, the present system is not effective in maintaining an appropriate balance of power. He shows that continued judicial expansion, especially into the realm of public policy, might have severe consequences for America's national life and direction, and offers practical recommendations for safeguarding against an increasingly powerful Supreme Court.John Agresto's controversial argument, set in the context of a historical and theoretical inquiry, will be of great interest to scholars and students in political science and law, especially American constitutional law and political theory.

The Nation

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literature

Page: N.A

View: 5887


The First Civil Right

How Liberals Built Prison America

Author: Naomi Murakawa

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199380724

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 6473

The explosive rise in the U.S. incarceration rate in the second half of the twentieth century, and the racial transformation of the prison population from mostly white at mid-century to sixty-five percent black and Latino in the present day, is a trend that cannot easily be ignored. Many believe that this shift began with the "tough on crime" policies advocated by Republicans and southern Democrats beginning in the late 1960s, which sought longer prison sentences, more frequent use of the death penalty, and the explicit or implicit targeting of politically marginalized people. In The First Civil Right, Naomi Murakawa inverts the conventional wisdom by arguing that the expansion of the federal carceral state-a system that disproportionately imprisons blacks and Latinos-was, in fact, rooted in the civil-rights liberalism of the 1940s and early 1960s, not in the period after. Murakawa traces the development of the modern American prison system through several presidencies, both Republican and Democrat. Responding to calls to end the lawlessness and violence against blacks at the state and local levels, the Truman administration expanded the scope of what was previously a weak federal system. Later administrations from Johnson to Clinton expanded the federal presence even more. Ironically, these steps laid the groundwork for the creation of the vast penal archipelago that now exists in the United States. What began as a liberal initiative to curb the mob violence and police brutality that had deprived racial minorities of their 'first civil right-physical safety-eventually evolved into the federal correctional system that now deprives them, in unjustly large numbers, of another important right: freedom. The First Civil Right is a groundbreaking analysis of root of the conflicts that lie at the intersection of race and the legal system in America.