To a High Court: The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States of America v. SCRAP / Edition 1

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Overview

Fall 1971, George Washington University: five law students working under the acronym SCRAP, Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures, embark upon an epic David versus Goliath mission. Their objective is to make the nation's Railroads and the Interstate Commerce Commission comply with the new National Environmental Policy Act. Despite the prowess of the Commission and the Railroads, SCRAP petitioned for compliance with the law and a billion dollar refund. In To A High Court, Neil Thomas Proto, the chairman of SCRAP, chronicles the United States of America v. SCRAP story. Using excerpts from court transcripts and the recently released papers of Justices Douglas, Marshall, and Blackmun and personal experience, Proto offers a first hand account of the roadblocks SCRAP encountered from both the environmental and industrial sides of the battle. Over thirty years after the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in favor of SCRAP, To A High Court offers a timely and pertinent look at the U.S. legal system. For additional information on To A High Court and author Neil Proto, please visit the book's website at www.toahighcourt.com.
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Editorial Reviews

Leon G. Billings
There is a special lesson in this story. ...Proto's readable, entertaining narrative on how a vital tool for environmental protection was born, midwifed by a bunch of law students, is a must read for tomorrow's environmental litigators and advocates.
William H. Rodgers
High Court captured the hopes, fears, slips and slides of big-time environmental litigation.
The Philadelphia Lawyer - Antoinette R. Stone
To a High Court is consistently perceptive and a pleasure to read. A large part of the story's appeal is its setting in the personal lives of SCRAP's members (along with Proto's insightful digressions on the depredations of the coal industry, the ghost of Louis Brandeis, student anti-war demonstrations, Frank Norris and the insidious interlocking directorates of the nineteenth century). Proto examines not only the legal issues in the case and their historical backdrop, but also the everyday context in which SCRAP's members worked, played and thought... For the rising generation of public interest lawyers, SCRAP's story is a compelling case study of the power of resourcefulness, determination and audacity.
Gw Law School - Jamie L. Freedman
'It's a wonderful book that evokes not only the case but the five brave and intelligent law students who dared to take on one of the most powerful industries in America, as well as the federal government, and won,' says Peter H. Meyers, JD '71, professor of clinical law, who, as legal assistant to Banzhaf in the early 1970s, worked closely with the students and argued their case before the Supreme Court.
Rosa DeLauro
This high drama of five law students confronting the Railroads' power and the government's failure is riveting. The story resonates with questions still central to citizens and legislators: what is the duty of government? And who advocates the public's interest? To a High Court may be a 30-year-old story, but its lesson for holding government accountable could not be more current.
Linda Greenhouse
[A]ccording to Chief Justice Roberts, SCRAP is back.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Today's decision in [Massachusetts v. EPA] is SCRAP for a new generation.
Dan Lauria
Students fighting Goliaths. A timeless theme, engaging characters and plot twists. A Civil Action merged with Paper Chase. I can't wait to see the movie!
Erwin Chemerinsky
To A High Court is a fascinating and incisive account of a major Supreme Court decision. Scholars, students, and those interested in law all would benefit from reading this outstanding book.
John Bonine
To A High Court describes, with captivating eloquence and logic, how the imagination and persistence of students can sometimes achieve more than professionals who are restricted by doctrine and imprisoned by caution.
William H. Rodgers Jr.
High Court captured the hopes, fears, slips and slides of big-time environmental litigation.
The New York Times
For the Chief Justice, a Dissent and a Line in the Sand.
The Philadelphia Lawyer
To a High Court is consistently perceptive and a pleasure to read. A large part of the story's appeal is its setting in the personal lives of SCRAP's members (along with Proto's insightful digressions on the depredations of the coal industry, the ghost of Louis Brandeis, student anti-war demonstrations, Frank Norris and the insidious interlocking directorates of the nineteenth century). Proto examines not only the legal issues in the case and their historical backdrop, but also the everyday context in which SCRAP's members worked, played and thought... For the rising generation of public interest lawyers, SCRAP's story is a compelling case study of the power of resourcefulness, determination and audacity.
— Antoinette R. Stone
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761833611
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/22/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

As a law student, Neil Thomas Proto chaired SCRAP in 1971 and 1972. Today, he is a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. He also is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and was a visiting lecturer at Yale University.
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Table of Contents

1 Acknowledgements 2 Prologue 3 No Sanctuary 4 Banzhaf and the Placid Eggshell 5 The Conversation 6 Students Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures 7 The Participants 8 Standing 9 Disciplined Calm 10 The Midnight Surprise 11 Managing the Deluge 12 Finding Clarity 13 Thinking Ahead 14 In Preparation 15 The Social Forces 16 The Lines are Drawn 17 Searching for Comfort 18 Finding Our Own Rules 19 In Court: A Colloquy in Law and Money 20 In Court: The Forces Collide 21 Victory 22 Into Hostile Territory 23 Washington, D.C. 24 The United States Supreme Court 25 Epilogue 26 Appendix 27 End notes 28 Index 29 About the Author
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2006

    The Possibilities of the 60s Revisited

    Neil Proto captures the drama of the S.C.R.A.P case against the backdrop of the tumultuous social and political issues of the 60s that were playing out not only in the streets of Washington D.C., but throughout America. In his clearly-written narrative of first hand experiences during that era, Proto describes another quieter drama that was playing out when five graduate law students decided to test a case in court rather than take a final exam, beginning an improbable journey that led to a Supreme Court decision and a victory of the people not only over the powwerful railroad industry but the stonewalling Washington beauracracy as well. In his book, Neil Proto captures a rare legal moment in America during an era of seemingly endless possibilty and experimentation, a victory of the little guy over a Goliath corporation, a decision handed down from the high court that could never happen in today's conservative political theatre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

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