The Center Holds: The Power Struggle Inside the Rehnquist Court

The Center Holds: The Power Struggle Inside the Rehnquist Court

by James F. Simon
     
 

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Simon focuses on crucial issues in American law--abortion rights, racial discrimination, First Amendment freedoms, and capital punishment--in this behind-the-scenes look at the private deliberations and deep disagreements of the Rehnquist Court. This is an unprecedented inside account of the struggle for the soul of the Supreme Court during the Reagan and Bush years.

Overview

Simon focuses on crucial issues in American law--abortion rights, racial discrimination, First Amendment freedoms, and capital punishment--in this behind-the-scenes look at the private deliberations and deep disagreements of the Rehnquist Court. This is an unprecedented inside account of the struggle for the soul of the Supreme Court during the Reagan and Bush years. Photos.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``This is the story of a conservative judicial revolution that failed,'' declares Simon (The Antagonists), a professor at New York Law School, in this readable, sometimes intimate look at some key Supreme Court cases since the early 1980s. While the leadership of Chief Justice William Rehnquist and the country's conservative tilt in the '80s portended a shift to the right in the Supreme Court, the unpredictable independence of Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter has, argues Simon, staved off such change. President Clinton's two appointees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, have solidified the center. Simon intersperses biographical sketches of the justices with close looks at cases in areas like abortion (Webster), capital punishment (McCleskey) and flag burning (Johnson). Most valuable are Simon's descriptions of the memos and drafts-gleaned from confidential sources and the recently opened Thurgood Marshall papers-in which the justices argued and struggled to find majorities. While neither as juicy nor as deep as Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong's The Brethren, this book has some valuable material for Court followers. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684824154
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
08/13/1996
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.16(h) x 0.91(d)

Meet the Author

James F. Simon is the Martin Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at New York Law School. He is the author of seven previous books on American history, law, and politics. His books have won the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and twice been named New York Times Notable Books. He lives with his wife in West Nyack, New York.

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