The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty

The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty

by Rawn James

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Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Harry S. Truman’s presidency is his judicial legacy, with even the finest of Truman biographies neglecting to consider the influence he had on the Supreme Court. Yet, as Rawn James lays out in engaging detail, president Harry Truman successfully molded the high court into a judicial body that appeared to actively support his administration’s political agenda. In rulings that sparked controversy in their own time, the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld Truman’s most contentious policies, including actions to restrict free speech, expand civil rights, and manage labor union unrest.

The Truman Court: Law and the Limits of Loyalty argues that the years between FDR’s death in 1945 and Chief Justice Earl Warren’s confirmation in 1953—the dawn of the Cold War—were, contrary to widespread belief, important years in Supreme Court history. Never before or since has a president so quickly and completely changed the ideological and temperamental composition of the Court. With remarkable swiftness and certainty, Truman constructed a Court on which he relied to lend constitutional credence to his political agenda.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826274564
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Publication date: 06/07/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Rawn James, Jr. has practiced law in Washington, D.C. for 20 years.  His previous books are Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall and the Struggle to End Segregation and The Double V: How Wars, Protest and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military.

Table of Contents

Contents Prologue Chapter One: “We Must Have Steel.” Chapter Two: Justice Harold Burton Chapter Three: Attorney General Tom Clark Chapter Four: The Court Truman Inherited and a Justice Abroad Chapter Five: “The Very Nearly Indispensable Man” Chapter Six: Death of a Chief Justice Chapter Seven: “The General Utility Man of Government” Chapter Eight: Open Warriors and Assassins Chapter Nine: “A Man to Trust” Chapter Ten: Meatless On-Strike Midterm Elections Chapter Eleven: Labor’s Troubled Waters Chapter Twelve: The Chief Takes Charge Chapter Thirteen: A Civil Service Chapter Fourteen: Truman at the Lincoln Memorial Chapter Fifteen: Shelley v. Kraemer: The Judicial Revolution Begins Chapter Sixteen: Justice Douglas and the 1948 Presidential Election Chapter Seventeen: The Vinson Mission Chapter Eighteen: Justice Tom Clark Chapter Nineteen: Justice Sherman Minton Chapter Twenty: Civil Liberties and Loyalty Chapter Twenty-One: The Path to Brown: First Steps Chapter Twenty-Two: The Path to Brown: Unanimous Progress Chapter Twenty-Three: Caution in the Wind Chapter Twenty-Four: Monongahela River Valley Hope Chapter Twenty-Five: The District Court Hearing Chapter Twenty-Six: The Supreme Court Hearing Chapter Twenty-Seven: Conference and Resolution Chapter Twenty-Eight: “Zone of Twilight” Chapter Twenty-Nine: A President’s Nadir Chapter Thirty: The Truman Court Notes Index

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