The Rehnquist Court: Understanding Its Impact and Legacy / Edition 1

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For nearly 20 years, William Hubbs Rehnquist served as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During these two decades, the Court issued major decisions involving federalism, abortion, affirmative action, civil rights, privacy, and the 2000 presidential election. Throughout his tenure, Justice Rehnquist was conventionally perceived as a conservative, partly for the anti-civil rights memos he had written earlier in his career. He became a lightning rod for controversy during his confirmation hearings in 1972 for Associate Justice and again in 1986 when he became Chief Justice. Surprisingly, however, Hudson's balanced, nonpartisan examination of the Rehnquist Court and its personalities shows that Rehnquist's conservatism is quite mild compared to that of the ideological purity of Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, and that Rehnquist did an admirable job of playing moderator as Chief Justice, exhibiting sensitivity toward his colleagues.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hudson presents an overview and assessment of the Supreme Court during the tenure of the recently deceased Chief Justice, William J. Rehnquist. Career and other biographical information for Rehnquist open the volume, followed by a chapter profiling justices serving during Rehnquist's tenure at the head of Court. Subsequent chapters explore the views of Rehnquist and court rulings as they related to federalism; freedom of religion; freedom of expression; habeas corpus and capital punishment; other areas of criminal law; and abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action. The final chapter assesses Rehnquist as an efficient and fair administrator of the Court who articulated a consistent conservative judicial philosophy and remained committed to judicial independence."


Reference & Research Book News

"In this single volume, Hudson has produced a chronicle of William Rehnquist's 33-year service on the Supreme Court, with 19 years as chief justice. A dedicated conservative, Rehnquist was a controversial figure in his public life, from his clerkship to Robert Jackson through his initial public service in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Hudson takes the reader through two contentious confirmation hearings following Rehnquist's appointment to the bench by President Nixon and later to the chief justiceship by President Reagan. Before moving to the bulk of the study—an analysis of the major public law decisions of the Rehnquist period—the author profiles the 14 justices who served as colleagues prior to Rehnquist's appointment as chief, and later under his leadership. Constitutional areas under Hudson's microscope are federalism, freedom of religion and speech, criminal law, affirmative action, abortion, and gay rights….[t]he book is enlightening reading for the public as well as for the professionals. Recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduates through faculty."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275989712
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID L. HUDSON JR. is a research attorney with the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. Hudson also teaches classes at the Nashville School of Law and Middle Tennessee State University. He serves as a First Amendment contributing editor to the American Bar Association's Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. He has written about the First Amendment jurisprudence of a number of Supreme Court Justices, including Clarence Thomas, William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, and Samuel Alito. He is the author or co-author of 15 books.

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