OVERRIDE

The Supreme Court

The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America

Jeffrey Rosen

St. Martin's Griffin

"Superbly well written . . . a wonderfully informative guide to the Supreme Court both past and present."--David J. Garrow, American History Jeffrey Rosen recounts the history of the Supreme Court through the personal and philosophical rivalries that have transformed the law--and by extension, our lives. With studies of four crucial conflicts--Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson; post-Civil War justices John Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes; liberal icons Hugo Black and William O. Douglas; and conservative stalwarts William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia--Rosen brings vividly to life the perennial rivalry between those justices guided by strong ideology and those who cared more about the court as an institution, forging coalitions and adjusting to new realities. He ends with a revealing conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts, who is attempting to change the court in unexpected ways. The stakes, he shows, are nothing less than the future of American jurisprudence.

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Introduction

On April 8, 1952, to prevent an imminent steelworkers’ strike that he thought would cut off the flow of guns to U.S. troops in the middle of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman decided to use his authority as commander in chief to seize the nation’s steel mills. His decision would provoke more criticism than any other in his presidency. But Truman had been emboldened to act in part because of confidential advice from Chief Justice Fred Vinson, whom Truman had appointed to the Supreme Court in 1946. When Truman informed Vinson in advance of his intention to

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jeffrey Rosen

  • Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. He is the author of The Most Democratic Branch, The Naked Crowd, and The Unwanted Gaze. His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and lives in Washington, D.C.
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The Supreme Court

The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America

Jeffrey Rosen

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St. Martin's Griffin

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