The Taney Court

Justices, Rulings, and Legacy

The Taney Court

An exploration of the US Supreme Court under Roger Taney during an era of dramatic selectionism, slavery and civil war. Included is a survey of the historical period and an examination of the decisions reached in the court's most important cases.

The Supreme Court, Race, and Civil Rights

From Marshall to Rehnquist

The Supreme Court, Race, and Civil Rights

Providing a well-rounded presentation of the constitution and evolution of civil rights in the United States, this book will be useful for students and academics with an interest in civil rights, race and the law. Abraham L Davis and Barbara Luck Graham's purpose is: to give an overview of the Supreme Court and its rulings with regard to issues of equality and civil rights; to bring law, political science and history into the discussion of civil rights and the Supreme Court; to incorporate the politically disadvantaged and the human component into the discussion; to stimulate discussion among students; and to provide a text that cultivates competence in reading actual Supreme Court cases.

The Supreme Court in American Society

Equal Justice Under Law

The Supreme Court in American Society

Readable and information-filled, The Supreme Court in American Society is a valuable reference for students of law and history alike."--Jacket.

A History of the Supreme Court

A History of the Supreme Court

When the first Supreme Court convened in 1790, it was so ill-esteemed that its justices frequently resigned in favor of other pursuits. John Rutledge stepped down as Associate Justice to become a state judge in South Carolina; John Jay resigned as Chief Justice to run for Governor of New York; and Alexander Hamilton declined to replace Jay, pursuing a private law practice instead. As Bernard Schwartz shows in this landmark history, the Supreme Court has indeed travelled a long and interesting journey to its current preeminent place in American life. In A History of the Supreme Court, Schwartz provides the finest, most comprehensive one-volume narrative ever published of our highest court. With impeccable scholarship and a clear, engaging style, he tells the story of the justices and their jurisprudence--and the influence the Court has had on American politics and society. With a keen ability to explain complex legal issues for the nonspecialist, he takes us through both the great and the undistinguished Courts of our nation's history. He provides insight into our foremost justices, such as John Marshall (who established judicial review in Marbury v. Madison, an outstanding display of political calculation as well as fine jurisprudence), Roger Taney (whose legacy has been overshadowed by Dred Scott v. Sanford), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, and others. He draws on evidence such as personal letters and interviews to show how the court has worked, weaving narrative details into deft discussions of the developments in constitutional law. Schwartz also examines the operations of the court: until 1935, it met in a small room under the Senate--so cramped that the judges had to put on their robes in full view of the spectators. But when the new building was finally opened, one justice called it "almost bombastically pretentious," and another asked, "What are we supposed to do, ride in on nine elephants?" He includes fascinating asides, on the debate in the first Court, for instance, over the use of English-style wigs and gowns (the decision: gowns, no wigs); and on the day Oliver Wendell Holmes announced his resignation--the same day that Earl Warren, as a California District Attorney, argued his first case before the Court. The author brings the story right up to the present day, offering balanced analyses of the pivotal Warren Court and the Rehnquist Court through 1992 (including, of course, the arrival of Clarence Thomas). In addition, he includes four special chapters on watershed cases: Dred Scott v. Sanford, Lochner v. New York, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade. Schwartz not only analyzes the impact of each of these epoch-making cases, he takes us behind the scenes, drawing on all available evidence to show how the justices debated the cases and how they settled on their opinions. Bernard Schwartz is one of the most highly regarded scholars of the Supreme Court, author of dozens of books on the law, and winner of the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award. In this remarkable account, he provides the definitive one-volume account of our nation's highest court.

John Marshall

Definer of a Nation

John Marshall

A New York Times Notable Book of 1996 It was in tolling the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835 that the Liberty Bell cracked, never to ring again. An apt symbol of the man who shaped both court and country, whose life "reads like an early history of the United States," as the Wall Street Journal noted, adding: Jean Edward Smith "does an excellent job of recounting the details of Marshall's life without missing the dramatic sweep of the history it encompassed." Working from primary sources, Jean Edward Smith has drawn an elegant portrait of a remarkable man. Lawyer, jurist, scholars; soldier, comrade, friend; and, most especially, lover of fine Madeira, good food, and animated table talk: the Marshall who emerges from these pages is noteworthy for his very human qualities as for his piercing intellect, and, perhaps most extraordinary, for his talents as a leader of men and a molder of consensus. A man of many parts, a true son of the Enlightenment, John Marshall did much for his country, and John Marshall: Definer of a Nation demonstrates this on every page.

The Supreme Court

A Concise History

The Supreme Court

This essential historical overview begins by noting that the Supreme Court is -arguably the least known and understood of the three branches of government-. Robert W. Langran's innovative approach will do much to provide students with a good understanding of the changing role and accomplishments of the Court from its inception to its latest decisions. This book discusses the most important decisions of the Court in chronological rather than topical order, illustrating how the cases fit into an historical timeframe as well as what roles the most influential justices played. In an easy, conversational style, Robert W. Langran discusses how the Court was formed, how justices are selected, how the Court selects its cases, and the broad shifts of the Court with regard to doctrine and attention to the popular and governmental interests of each period. Students gain important insights into why each Court voted the way it did and how those decisions influenced the votes of future Courts. "The Supreme Court," an excellent supplementary text for undergraduate classes in American government and American history, as well as introductory classes in political science, contains useful appendixes listing all justices and all cases discussed."

The Revolutionary Constitution

The Revolutionary Constitution

The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.

Ideas Are Weapons

The History and Uses of Ideas

Ideas Are Weapons


The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr

Law, Politics, and the Character Wars of the New Nation

The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr

The Burr trial pitted Marshall, Jefferson and Burr in a dramatic three-way contest that left a permanent mark on the new nation.