Dissent and the Supreme Court

Its Role in the Court's History and the Nation's Constitutional Dialogue

Author: Melvin I. Urofsky

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 110187063X

Category: Law

Page: 544

View: 5028

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From the admired judicial authority, author of Louis D. Brandeis (“Remarkable”—Anthony Lewis, The New York Review of Books; “Monumental”—Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review), Division and Discord, and Supreme Decisions—Melvin Urofsky’s major new book looks at the role of dissent in the Supreme Court and the meaning of the Constitution through the greatest and longest lasting public-policy debate in the country’s history, among members of the Supreme Court, between the Court and the other branches of government, and between the Court and the people of the United States. Urofsky writes of the necessity of constitutional dialogue as one of the ways in which we as a people reinvent and reinvigorate our democratic society. In Dissent and the Supreme Court, he explores the great dissents throughout the Court’s 225-year history. He discusses in detail the role the Supreme Court has played in helping to define what the Constitution means, how the Court’s majority opinions have not always been right, and how the dissenters, by positing alternative interpretations, have initiated a critical dialogue about what a particular decision should mean. This dialogue is sometimes resolved quickly; other times it may take decades before the Court adjusts its position. Louis Brandeis’s dissenting opinion about wiretapping became the position of the Court four decades after it was written. The Court took six decades to adopt the dissenting opinion of the first Justice John Harlan in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)—that segregation on the basis of race violated the Constitution—in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Urofsky shows that the practice of dissent grew slowly but steadily and that in the nineteenth century dissents became more frequent. In the (in)famous case of Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Chief Justice Roger Taney’s opinion upheld slavery, declaring that blacks could never be citizens. The justice received intense condemnations from several of his colleagues, but it took a civil war and three constitutional amendments before the dissenting view prevailed and Dred Scott was overturned. Urofsky looks as well at the many aspects of American constitutional life that were affected by the Earl Warren Court—free speech, race, judicial appointment, and rights of the accused—and shows how few of these decisions were unanimous, and how the dissents in the earlier cases molded the results of later decisions; how with Roe v. Wade—the Dred Scott of the modern era—dissent fashioned subsequent decisions, and how, in the Court, a dialogue that began with the dissents in Roe has shaped every decision since. Urofsky writes of the rise of conservatism and discusses how the resulting appointments of more conservative jurists to the bench put the last of the Warren liberals—William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall—in increasingly beleaguered positions, and in the minority. He discusses the present age of incivility, in which reasoned dialogue seems less and less possible. Yet within the Marble Palace, the members of the Supreme Court continue to hear arguments, vote, and draft majority opinions, while the minority continues to “respectfully dissent.” The Framers understood that if a constitution doesn’t grow and adapt, it atrophies and dies, and if it does, so does the democratic society it has supported. Dissent—on the Court and off, Urofsky argues—has been a crucial ingredient in keeping the Constitution alive and must continue to be so. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.

The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America

Author: Jonathan Daniel Wells

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131766549X

Category: History

Page: 374

View: 8435

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The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America provides an important overview of the main themes within the study of the long nineteenth century. The book explores major currents of research over the past few decades to give an up-to-date synthesis of nineteenth-century history. It shows how the century defined much of our modern world, focusing on themes including: immigration, slavery and racism, women's rights, literature and culture, and urbanization. This collection reflects the state of the field and will be essential reading for all those interested in the development of the modern United States.

The Judge

26 Machiavellian Lessons

Author: Ronald K.L. Collins,David M. Skover

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190490152

Category: Law

Page: 144

View: 4478

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There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, but few ethicists would advise policymakers to treat it as a bible. The lofty ideals of the law, especially, seem distant from the values that the word "Machiavellian" connotes, and judges are supposed to work above the realm of politics. In The Judge, however, Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that Machiavelli can indeed speak to judges, and model their book after The Prince. As it turns out, the number of people who think that judges in the U.S. are apolitical has been shrinking for decades. Both liberals and conservatives routinely criticize their ideological opponents on the bench for acting politically. Some authorities even posit the impossibility of apolitical judges, and indeed, in many states, judicial elections are partisan. Others advocate appointing judges who are committed to being dispassionate referees adhering to the letter of the law. However, most legal experts, regardless of their leanings, seem to agree that despite widespread popular support for the ideal of the apolitical judge, this ideal is mere fantasy. This debate about judges and politics has been a perennial in American history, but it intensified in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration sought to place originalists in the Supreme Court. It has not let up since. Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that the debate has become both stale and circular, and instead tackle the issue in a boldly imaginative way. In The Judge, they ask us to assume that judges are political, and that they need advice on how to be effective political actors. Their twenty-six chapters track the structure of The Prince, and each provides pointers to judges on how to cleverly and subtly advance their political goals. In this Machiavellian vision, law is inseparable from realpolitik. However, the authors' point isn't to advocate for this coldly realistic vision of judging. Their ultimate goal is identify both legal realists and originalists as what they are: explicitly political (though on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). Taking its cues from Machiavelli, The Judge describes what judges actually do, not what they ought to do.

Law and Society

Author: Matthew Lippman

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1506395422

Category: Law

Page: 624

View: 7005

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“This is a well-rounded book that seems more interesting to students than other books I have used. It provides information on some cutting-edge themes in law and society while staying well grounded in the theories used by law and society practitioners.” —Lydia Brashear Tiede, Associate Professor, University of Houston Law and Society, Second Edition, offers a contemporary, concise overview of the structure and function of legal institutions, along with a lively discussion of both criminal and civil law and their impact on society. Unlike other books on law and society, Matthew Lippman takes an interdisciplinary approach that highlights the relevance of the law throughout our society. Distinctive coverage of diversity, inequality, civil liberties, and globalism is intertwined through an organized theme in a strong narrative. The highly anticipated Second Edition of this practical and invigorating text introduces students to both the influence of law on society and the influence of society on the law. Discussions of the pressing issues facing today’s society include key topics such as the law and inequality, international human rights, privacy and surveillance, and law and social control. Log in at study.sagepub.com/lippmanls2e for additional teaching and learning tools.

Voices of dissent

critical readings in American politcs

Author: William F. Grover,Joseph G. Peschek

Publisher: Longman Pub Group

ISBN: 9780321129055

Category: Political Science

Page: 381

View: 1698

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This distinctive readerthe only collection of critical readings on American government availabletakes students far beyond the mainstream debate between liberalism and conservatism to fundamentally challenge the status quo. Voices of Dissent provides a systematic series of critical perspectives on American politics that goes beyond the debate between mainstream liberalism and conservatism. This text nurtures students' abilities to critically assess the givens of political and economic life in the United States. A recurrent theme in the selections is political economy and the tension between capitalism and democracy.

Law, Politics and the Judicial Process in Canada

Author: Frederick Lee Morton

Publisher: University of Calgary Press

ISBN: 1552380467

Category: Law

Page: 660

View: 1739

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Since the first edition of this popular textbook appeared in 1984, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has transformed the role of the courts in Canadian politics. The book introduces students to issues raised by the new political role of Canadian judges. The revised and updated third edition features new introductions and new readings that deal with current issues in the realm of Canadian law and politics.

Constitutional Law

Cases, History, and Dialogues

Author: William D. Araiza,Phoebe A. Haddon,Dorothy E. Roberts

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Constitutional law

Page: 1803

View: 5943

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