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The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court
Audiobook10 hours

The Supreme Court

Written by William H. Rehnquist

Narrated by John Pruden

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

Chief Justice Rehnquist's engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall's dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Citing cases such as the Dred Scott decision and Roosevelt's Court-packing plan, Rehnquist makes clear that the Court does not operate in a vacuum, that the justices are unavoidably influenced by their surroundings, and that their decisions have real and lasting impacts on our society. The public often hears little about the Supreme Court until decisions are handed down. Here, Rehnquist reveals its inner workings-the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place. With grace and wit, this incisive history gives a dynamic and informative account of the most powerful court in the nation and how it has shaped the direction America has taken.
PublisherTantor Audio
Release dateMar 28, 2017
The Supreme Court

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Rating: 3.175438596491228 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Following the epic 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade (1973), the nature and role of the United States Supreme Court are being re-evaluated and criticized more intensely than at any time since the 1940s. This is a perfect time for an informed, scholarly yet accessible history of the court, written in a time when passions were not running so high. This is precisely what is available in former Chief Justice Rehnquist's 2004 study, written with sharp insight, a scrupulous regard for history, and even bits of subtle humor. This is not a casebook, detailing the Court's "greatest hits," but a study of why those cases, and many more, were and are so important. Although Rehnquist was regarded as a member of the "conservative" wing of the Court during his lifetime, the book is free of any hint of partisanship or polemical bias. History may regard Rehnquist as one of the Court's greatest justices; he is certainly one of its most gifted and enjoyable historians.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This book starts as a history of the Supreme Court, emphasising the legal history and political influences on the Court, then gradually becomes a memoir of Rehnquist's service as first, a clerk to Justice Jackson, then of his service on the Court. The first (and larger) part would make an admirable textbook on the history of the Court for use in a high school or college level American Government class. The second part would make an interesting book on its own, as Rehnquist includes a good deal of information on the day-to-day workings of the Court, and how that's changed over time, as well as some character sketches of the Justices who served after World War 2, but retired or died before about 1980. There's no juicy gossip - Rehnquist tries rather hard to be positive about everyone he discusses.Rehnquist's writing is clear and relatively concise. He's not a literary stylist, but in a book like this, the writing should take a back seat to the stories being told.

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