Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics
Author: David M. O'Brien
Number Of Pages: 462
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Details: Few public events reach the intensity of political interest and personal emotion of the 1992 Supreme Court case on abortion rights legislation (Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey) or the 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. For many, what made the 1992 presidential election so critical was that the new president will likely replace a minimum of one, and possibly as many as three, Supreme Court justices in 1993 alone! Once observers of primarily the other two branches of government, the presidency and Congress, we have now become a nation of Court watchers as well. The reason is simple; the Supreme Court, the cases it decides to hear, its inner workings, and the confirmation process have become highly politicized - their impact on American society felt heavily. In this fully updated version of his 1986 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award-winning book, noted constitutional law scholar David M. O'Brien again brings the Supreme Court into open view. We meet the current nine justices and their sometimes eccentric predecessors. We hear the surprising backstage stories of their appointments and the presidential efforts to shape the Court. Based on thorough interviews with current and past justices, and continual and exhaustive research into the private working papers of justices as well as their presidents, the book reveals the negotiations and compromises behind the landmark and the early 1990 decisions on abortion, school desegregation, legislative apportionment, free speech, and the rights of the accused. In the midst of the ongoing debate over the Supreme Court, we see, above all, "the leastdangerous branch" of government where personality, politics, law, and justice come together in a "storm center" to shape and often change drastically the society in which we live.