Literary Critic, Spider Monkey, says "Put that away. You'll put your eye out".
By "it", I mean of course the latest book I've read, or one that I particularly enjoy/detest, and wish to share with you. Today brings us Jeffrey Toobin's "The Nine". I have read many legal nonfictions, as well as novels, particularly those emphasizing the High Court and the personalities which comprise the most powerful body in the world. I must say, however, that I don't think any of them captures the unique humanity of the Justices and the institution quite like Toobin's book does.
Now available in paperback, minions.
While the book technically addresses the "nine", it is much more a critical look at the crucial role that Justice O'Connor played as the all important swing vote, and politico on the Bench. Much treatment is given to waning days of Chief Justice Rehnquist's last years as well, including his administrative touch, the substance of his rulings, the Federalism revival which fell flat, and of course his death. The rest of the gang is here, as well: Souter's quiet discomfort as a 21st Century Jurist; Thomas' self-proclaimed victimhood and fringe ideology, Breyer's unique humor; Scalia's acerbic wit, etc. It is a great read for court-watchers, for dedicated law nerds, and for lay persons wanting a better understanding of how the seemingly-baffling pronouncements from on-high become governing law. There are some criticisms though, namely, the exceptional deference shown to the Chief, despite him being one of the most conservative, paleoconservatives since the Four Horsemen of FDR's era. Still, I can't complain too much.
Publisher's Review Thinks:
It's not laws or constitutional theory that rule the High Court, argues this absorbing group profile, but quirky men and women guided by political intuition. New Yorker legal writer Toobin (The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson) surveys the Court from the Reagan administration onward, as the justices wrestled with abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gay rights and church-state separation. * * * His savvy account puts the supposedly cloistered Court right in the thick of American life.
Not in the book, but did you know that a federal judge once made a ruling a la "Green Eggs and Ham?"
THE WRITER IS SO LIBERAL THAT HE THINK THAT IF THE "NINE" DO NOT AGREE AND DO AS HE THINK , THEY ARE BAD OR EVIL . FOR CONSERVATIVE IT IS A WEST OF TIME TO READ IT AND FOR LIBERAL IT IS WHAT YOU BELIVE IN NO METTER WHAT ...SO WHY READING THIS JUNK
You could do far worse than this entry into the court-watcher catalogue. Author's undoubted liberalism will annoy some, but even moderates would have to agree that Justice Scalia is a bitter old hypocrite and Justice Thomas is a fringe idiot. Nice pace, nice mix of the personalities with the political saga playing out, especially in the religion and Bush v. Gore cases. All things considered, not a bad effort.
Three and half out of Five Spider Monkeys