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Right Wing Justice: The Conservative Campaign to Take Over the Courts
     

Right Wing Justice: The Conservative Campaign to Take Over the Courts

by Herman Schwartz
 

Right Wing Justice raises the alarm about the creeping conservative campaign to "pack" America's courts with judges more identified with their ideological affiliation than their skill or regard for the Constitution. The consequence is that the rule of law is taking a terrific beating from the Supreme Court. Who can forget the debacle of Election 2000? But the

Overview


Right Wing Justice raises the alarm about the creeping conservative campaign to "pack" America's courts with judges more identified with their ideological affiliation than their skill or regard for the Constitution. The consequence is that the rule of law is taking a terrific beating from the Supreme Court. Who can forget the debacle of Election 2000? But the consequences of the campaign go far deeper than that, impinging on the daily lives of ordinary Americans who are at the receiving end of attempts to overturn or erode Supreme Court rulings on abortion, school prayer, civil rights, criminal justice, and economic regulation. As the author shows, the problem does not end at the Supreme Court—it filters down to the lowers courts and circuits. Right Wing Justice gives an alarming account of how this has come to pass over the last two decades, how conservative activists hatched this strategy in the 1960s only to see it really come of age during the Reagan revolution and the successive Republican administrations. Combining a scholar's sense of history with the immediacy of eyewitness testimony, Right Wing Justice will come not only as a sobering reading to many concerned Americans—but also as a call to wake-up.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A measured denunciation of what the author deems an ongoing conservative effort to pack the American judiciary with hard-right judges. Schwartz (Law/American Univ.; ed., The Rehnquist Court, 2002) is plainly displeased by a system that makes William Rehnquist appear to be a judicial moderate, but he is seldom moved to outrage. Instead, he patiently constructs historical and judicial trends, showing that the advances in progressive legislation and interpretation thereof in the New Deal era have been steadily turned back in subsequent years. Schwartz outlines three great transformations in American society in the 20th century, the first two of which came from the New Deal and its liberal successors to institute "a change in the relationship between the federal government and the American people, which established a major role for the government in American economic life." Much of the conservative backlash has been posed in economic terms: Why, Rehnquist himself once asked, should the government have any right to dictate to whom a business owner can serve a meal? ("It is about time the Court faced the fact," a young Rehnquist would write, "that the white people in the South don't like the colored people.") Whereas Rehnquist often sat alone in upholding, say, school segregation and the rights of employers over employees, he has been joined by countless like-minded peers, thanks to the efforts of Bush administrations I and II to pack the courts: by the time he left office in 1992, Bush I had seen to it that "Republican judges comprised 80 percent of all federal judges and 75 percent of the appellate bench," leaving little for Bush II to do save to plumb the depths of reaction by nominating tothe federal circuit one judge whose consistency in voting to the right surprised even Sen. Orrin Hatch, and another who told Congress that clean air and water regulations were unconstitutional. Read and weep-especially because there are few vacancies for a moderate administration to fill, so that for the foreseeable future, "the judiciary will be permanently titled toward the extreme right."Agency: Marmur Associates

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560255666
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
05/10/2004
Series:
Nation Books
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.89(d)

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