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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The Center Holds provides an intimate look at who the Supreme Court justices are, how they have made critical decisions, and why, ultimately, the Rehnquist Revolution failed.

Focusing on four key areas of civil rights and liberties—racial discrimination, abortion, criminal law, and First Amendment freedoms—TheCenter Holds provides anSee more details below

Overview

The Center Holds provides an intimate look at who the Supreme Court justices are, how they have made critical decisions, and why, ultimately, the Rehnquist Revolution failed.

Focusing on four key areas of civil rights and liberties—racial discrimination, abortion, criminal law, and First Amendment freedoms—TheCenter Holds provides an in-depth look at the Supreme Court documents that illustrate the battle between the old liberal order and emerging conservative majority, beginning in the early 1980s. James F. Simon, a former Time correspondent and contributing editor, ex-dean of New York Law School, and nationally recognized scholar of constitutional law, examines key decisions on civil rights and civil liberties in a readable, intimate look at some key Supreme Court Cases and includes absorbing descriptions of confidential memos and drafts gleaned from sources from within the court.

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.)
Mary Carroll
For 22 years (196991), Republican presidents filled every Supreme Court vacancy, 10 in all. When Nixon nominee Rehnquist became chief justice in 1986, conservative Republicans were confident the Court would finally reverse the liberal decisions of the Warren and Burger eras. But they were wrong, and Simon--former "Time" correspondent and contributing editor, ex-dean and now a professor at New York Law School, and author of four award-winning books on judicial history--examines why. Simon focuses on key decisions on civil rights and civil liberties issues. On the subject of race, he scrutinizes "Patterson "v." McLean Credit Union" (1989). On abortion, he retraces the evolution of "Roe" v." Wade" (1973) and sketches the internal debate over later cases, particularly "Webster" (1989) and "Casey" (1992). The central concern of the section "Crime and Punishment" is capital punishment, especially the appeals of Warren McCleskey and Oreste Fulminante; a fourth section analyzes First Amendment cases involving the Establishment Clause and laws criminalizing flag burning. "The Center Holds" is a fascinating inside look at who the Supreme Court justices are, how they have made vital decisions, and why, ultimately, the Rehnquist Revolution failed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439143254
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,258,610
File size:
1 MB

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