Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court

Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court

by Damon Root


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Should the Supreme Court defer to the will of the majority and uphold most democratically enacted laws? Or does the Constitution empower the Supreme Court to protect a broad range of individual rights from the reach of lawmakers? In this timely and provocative book, Damon Root traces the long war over judicial activism and judicial restraint from its beginnings in the bloody age of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction to its central role in today's blockbuster legal battles over gay rights, gun control, and health care reform.

It's a conflict that cuts across the political spectrum in surprising ways and makes for some unusual bedfellows. Judicial deference is not only a touchstone of the Progressive left, for example, it is also a philosophy adopted by many members of the modern right. Today's growing camp of libertarians, however, has no patience with judicial restraint and little use for majority rule. They want the courts and judges to police the other branches of government, and expect Justices to strike down any state or federal law that infringes on their bold constitutional agenda of personal and economic freedom.

Overruled is the story of two competing visions, each one with its own take on what role the government and the courts should play in our society, a fundamental debate that goes to the very heart of our constitutional system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137279231
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/04/2014
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Damon Root is a senior editor at Reason magazine and Reason.com. In 2012 he spearheaded Reason's multi-platform coverage of the legal challenge to President Obama's health care law. He has been featured on the Fox Business Channel, Sirius Satellite Radio, the 92nd Street Y's "Campaign for the American Conversation," and numerous radio stations around the country.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Long War

1. "The Right of Free Labor"

2. The Devil and Oliver Wendell Holmes

3. "Robert Bork's America"

4. Libertarians vs. Conservatives

5. Litigating for Liberty

6. Guns, Lawyers, and Butchers

7. Obamacare on Trial

Epilogue: No Peace


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