Friday, January 23, 2009

Handy Supreme Court Answer Book or Becoming Justice Blackmun

Handy Supreme Court Answer Book

Author: David C Hudson

From the origins of the court to modern practical matters—including the federal judiciary system, the Supreme Court’s session schedule, and the argument, decision, and appeal process—this resource provides detailed answers on all aspects of the Supreme Court. Exploring the social, cultural, and political atmosphere in which judges are nominated and serve, this guide book answers questions such as When did the tradition of nine justices on the bench begin? When did the practice of hiring law clerks to assist with legal research and writing begin? and How do cases reach the Supreme Court? Details on historic decisions—including Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, and Bush v. Gore—accompany a thorough history of all 17 Supreme Court Chief Justices.

Table of Contents:
Introduction     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Origins of the Federal Court System     1
Supreme Court Rules, Practices, and Traditions     21
Supreme Court Trivia     41
The Jay, Rutledge, and Ellsworth Courts (1789-1800)     61
The Marshall Court (1801-35)     77
The Taney Court (1836-64)     99
The Chase Court (1864-73)     117
The Waite Court (1874-88)     127
The Fuller Court (1888-1910)     147
The White Court (1910-21)     177
The Taft Court (1921-30)     197
The Hughes Court (1930-41)     219
The Stone Court (1941-46)     247
The Vinson Court (1946-53)     265
The Warren Court (1953-69)     279
The Burger Court (1969-86)     321
The Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)     367
The Roberts Court (2005-Present)     409
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court     429
The Constitution of the United States     435
Resources     453
Index     457

Interesting book: Affair to Remember or Pasta

Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey

Author: Linda Greenhous

“A fascinating book. In clear and forceful prose, Becoming Justice Blackmun tells a judicial Horatio Alger story and a tale of a remarkable transformation . . . A page-turner.”—The New York Times Book Review

In this acclaimed biography, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times draws back the curtain on America's most private branch of government, the Supreme Court. Greenhouse was the first print reporter to have access to the extensive archives of Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1908–99), the man behind numerous landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Roe v. Wade.

Through the lens of Blackmun's private and public papers, Greenhouse crafts a compelling portrait of a man who, from 1970 to 1994, ruled on such controversial issues as abortion, the death penalty, and sex discrimination yet never lost sight of the human beings behind the legal cases. Greenhouse also paints the arc of Blackmun's lifelong friendship with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, revealing how political differences became personal, even for two of the country's most respected jurists.

From America's preeminent Supreme Court reporter, this is a must-read for everyone who cares about the Court and its impact on our lives.

The New York Times - Jeffrey Rosen

Linda Greenhouse, the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, is widely respected not only for her scrupulous translations of complicated opinions and traditions but also for her care in avoiding gossip and preserving the justices' privacy. In her first book, Becoming Justice Blackmun, she has produced something unexpected: one of the most intimate and revealing portraits of the relationship between two justices ever achieved … Ms. Greenhouse's achievement in her meticulous narrative history is to provide new ammunition for Justice Blackmun's critics as well as his admirers. And readers who are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the court could not hope for a more engrossing introduction.

Publishers Weekly

Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun's lifelong connection with Chief Justice Warren Burger-beginning in kindergarten in St. Paul, Minn., and culminating in 16 years together on the Supreme Court-supplies Greenhouse with one of her main organizing themes in this illuminating study of Blackmun's life and intellectual history. Once the closest of friends, Blackmun (1908-1999) and Burger diverged personally and ideologically, beginning in 1973, when Burger assigned Blackmun to write the Court's opinion in Roe v. Wade. Greenhouse, the New York Times's veteran Supreme Court watcher, draws primarily on Blackmun's massive personal archive to show how his authorship of the majority opinion in Roe (7-2) propelled him down several unexpected paths. Blackmun embraced equal protection for women and came to reject capital punishment. A Nixon appointee, Blackmun became the Supreme Court's most liberal justice after the retirement of William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall. The personality that emerges in Greenhouse's portrayal is that of a self-effacing and scholarly judge, devoid of partisanship, willing to follow his ideas wherever they led him. Making no pretense at being definitive or comprehensive, Greenhouse sets a high standard in offering an intimate look both at the man and at the development of his judicial thought. B&w photos. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal

A Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court journalist and commentator for the New York Times, Greenhouse offers an exceptionally readable biography of Justice Harry Blackmun, from his childhood to his service on the Supreme Court. Drawing upon primary-source materials in the Harry A. Blackmun Collection at the Library of Congress, Greenhouse portrays the evolution of Blackmun's judicial philosophy. In using Blackmun's files, correspondence, and papers, the author creates a revealing portrait of both the man himself and the inner workings of the Supreme Court, including his fractious relationship with Chief Justice Warren Burger. Central to the narrative is Blackmun's involvement in Roe v. Wade, subsequent abortion litigation, and capital punishment litigation. This small book is a valuable addition to the existing body of judicial biographies. Highly recommended.-Theodore Pollack, New York Cty. Public Access Law Lib., New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The life and times of a Supreme Court justice who resisted easy categorization, then and now. On his death in 1999, writes New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Greenhouse, Harry Blackmun gave the Library of Congress his papers, "contained in 1,585 boxes that take up more than six hundred feet." Drawing on this wealth of primary information, Greenhouse turns in a nuanced study of Blackmun as legal thinker and judge. Along the way, she offers revealing notes on Warren Burger, whose own papers are sealed until 2026; Burger, Blackmun's childhood friend and fellow Minnesotan, helped see Blackmun onto the bench. Other Minnesotans were guarded in their support: Walter Mondale dismissed him as a conservative, and Hubert Humphrey was not enthusiastic. Blackmun gave liberal critics reason for concern, as when he dissented from the opinion allowing the New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers, remarking, "The First Amendment, after all, is only one part of an entire Constitution." (A citizen from New Jersey wrote in to say, "I thought you were a 'strict constructionist'. . . . More a strict Nixonist.") Yet Blackmun also took it on himself to write the Court's opinion on Roe v. Wade, interpreting it not simply from the woman's-choice stance but also as "primarily, a medical decision." Blackmun had to defend Roe v. Wade for the rest of his career, as a target of those who wished to outlaw abortion entirely; he was relieved when in 1992 five justices declared that "the essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed." Greenhouse observes that their time spent together on the bench did ill for Blackmun's friendship with Burger, whom he came to regard as a pooradministrator and shallow thinker; the animosity grew in the matter of United States v. Nixon, which bitterly divided the Court. So, too, would other issues-among them, toward the end of his career, the death penalty-and by Greenhouse's account Blackmun conducted himself well throughout them. Detailed and well considered: a welcome study of Blackmun's contributions to the law. Author tour

What People Are Saying

Garrison Keillor
Harry Blackmun was the model public servant: hard-working, self-effacing, scrupulously honest, of a humorous bent, persnickety about language, ever re-examining his own thinking and dispositions, a patriot of process. Linda Greenhouse's elegant biography, a look at the professional life of the Justice in the blue Volkswagen, opens a window on the Court and on the antique notion of public service.

Jeffrey Toobin
I raced through Linda Greenhouse's book as soon as I got my hands on it. Becoming Justice Blackmun is both gripping constitutional history and rich personal drama. The nation's finest Supreme Court reporter has produced a vivid and fascinating portrait of a complex man.

Anthony Lewis
This is a wonderful, a thrilling book. Linda Greenhouse has given us both the touching story of a man's transformation and a rare insight into the way the Supreme Court works. It is born a classic.

Laurence Tribe
Anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court and anyone who hopes to grasp the subtle ways that personal philosophy and psychology combine with the sometimes impersonal logic of the law to shape the outcomes of great legal battles, would do well to read Linda Greenhouse's unpretentious but powerful story of Harry Blackmun. Greenhouse, in a jewel fully worthy of her reputation as the best journalist ever to have covered the work of the Supreme Court, proves to be as able a biographer as she is a reporter. Becoming Justice Blackmun is a brilliant and penetrating study of how unsought challenge and controversy can, in the most modest of men, bring out a measure of true greatness.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
At last, the mystery unveiled! The Supreme Court traditionally guards its privacy to the death, but Harry Blackmun, a supremely humane justice, left papers describing what the Court actually does behind the scenes, and Linda Greenhouse has used the Blackmun papers to write a fascinating book. Especially gripping is the intense human drama of the breakup of a lifelong friendship between Justice Blackmun and Chief Justice Warren Burger.

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