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Nine scorpions in a bottle : great judges and cases of the Supreme Court

Author: Max Lerner; Richard Cummings
Publisher: New York : Arcade Pub., [2017] ©1994
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : [Second editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
The United States Supreme Court looms large in the public imagination. To many, its magisterial facade stands for the rule of law and the triumph of justice, a lofty and daunting symbol of the principles America holds to be sacred. But behind those towering pillars there has been so much infighting, intrigue, and backstabbing over the years that the legendary justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., reportedly described  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Max Lerner; Richard Cummings
ISBN: 9781628727241 1628727241
OCLC Number: 970351048
Notes: Foreword copyright 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing.
Description: xxi, 331 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: pt. I. Searching for the Foundations. 1. The Supreme Court and American Capitalism ; 2. Constitution and Court as Symbols ; 3. The Early Career of Judicial Activism ; 4. Minority Rule and the Constitutional Tradition ; 5. Keepers of the Covenant in Mythic America ; 6. Some Perspectives on the Court --
pt. II. A Gallery of Greats. 7. John Marshall and the Campaign of History ; 8. The Great Ganglion That Was Holmes ; 9. Frankfurter on Holmes and the Austerity Theory ; 10. Justice Louis D. Brandeis and Judicial Activism ; 11. The Education of Hugo Black ; 12. Felix Frankfurter and the Essential Tension ; 13. The Mind and Style of Robert H. Jackson ; 14. William O. Douglas: True Militant --
pt. III. The Interaction of Courts and Cultures. 15. The Vinson Regime, Caught in Midpassage ; 16. The Career of the Warren Court ; 17. Watergate as Constitutional Crisis ; 18. The Balancing Act of the Burger Court ; 19. The Rehnquist Court Enters History ; 20. The Bork Wars as Confirmation Crisis --
Epilogue: Oliver Wendell Holmes Revisited --
Max Lerner on Law and Justice in America (bibliography) / Robert Schmuhl.
Responsibility: Max Lerner ; edited by Richard Cummings ; foreword by Stephen Wermiel.

Abstract:

The United States Supreme Court looms large in the public imagination. To many, its magisterial facade stands for the rule of law and the triumph of justice, a lofty and daunting symbol of the principles America holds to be sacred. But behind those towering pillars there has been so much infighting, intrigue, and backstabbing over the years that the legendary justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., reportedly described the Court as "nine scorpions in a bottle." Nobody appreciated all of this more than Max Lerner, who was the acknowledged dean of Supreme Court observers. Beginning with the seminal articles he wrote for the Yale Law Journal in the 1930s, through to the New York Post columns that ran almost until his death in 1992, Lerner was driven by a passion to demystify the Court and to uncover the historical, social, and psychological underpinnings of its landmark decisions. He also believed in the majesty and even the mystique of the forum in which some of America's grandest dramas have been enacted, beginning the moment judicial review was established in Marbury v. Madison. Lerner was clear-eyed about the Court's human dimensions and could identify its moments of shame, but underlying his work is pride in the durability of the Court, which for so long has both reflected and profoundly affected American culture. Nine Scorpions in a Bottle is the work of a lifetime, and its is Max Lerner's final work. Here are his celebrated portraits of John Marshall, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Earl Warren, and of course Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., whose judicial vision Lerner most respected. Not all justices receive judicious treatment; Lerner makes clear which he believes were the great legal minds and which were not. He traces what he terms their "constitutional journey," evaluating their judicial range and stature and assessing the impact they have had on those who succeeded them. Here, too, are his timeless discussions of the cases that continue to shape American society and legal debate, such as Brown v. Board of Education, The U.S. v. Nixon, and Roe v. Wade. Case by case, justice by justice, Nine Scorpions in a Bottle shows us the trajectory of Max Lerner's own constitutional journey, one marked above all by an exuberant joy in the rigors of legal warfare waged at the very highest level. It will enrich every American's understanding of the Supreme Court.

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