Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Harvard Law professor and iconic constitutional law figure Tribe and co-author Matz offer a timely analysis of the landscape-altering opinions of the Roberts Supreme Court. Roberts is depicted as part of a court divided by the obvious, competing conservative and liberal philosophies, but also a court whose Justices harbor distinct approaches to the Constitution. Tribe and Matz focus on the Court's opinions in cases that decided controversial issues including campaign finance, the Affordable Care Act, Affirmative Action, and gay rights. The legal principles argued in these landmark cases and the ramifications of the decisions, are explained in clear and understandable language. The exploration of the equally important analysis of how the personalities and personal experiences of the Justices resonate in their opinions reflects an intimate knowledge of the Court's workings. The inclusion of the heated debates between Justices is engaging and acts to humanize the Justices, although it does not necessarily make them likable. Tribe and Matz don't shy away from making critical comments on the merits of various opinions. Nevertheless, the authors are surprisingly philosophical about the Court's direction and end by claiming that the Court's decisions are part of "a long arc that bends toward justice." (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
With Chief Justice John Roberts' leadership of the Supreme Court approaching its 10th anniversary, Tribe (Constitutional Law/Harvard Univ., 2008, etc.) and Matz, who clerks for a federal judge, provide a perspective on the changes reflected in the court's decision-making patterns.The co-authors cooperate in a near-forensic dissection of the court's work under Roberts, comparing the arguments of each justice on a case-by-case basis. Many of their conclusions will be eye-openers for general readers. Contrary perhaps to expectation, this is not merely an account of a consistent five-member conservative majority against a liberal minority. Conservativese.g., Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alitocan differ from each other as much as they do from liberals like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Tribe and Matz fully address legal, philosophical and political motivations, and they document the general direction taking shape as one that tends to reverse law in many areas established since the New Deal. The authors systematically examine how the conflicting opinions on the court are coming together to reformulate the law's understanding of the Constitution in practice. The justices have focused much attention on cases that involve technical rules of procedure. In these cases, the court has favored big business and limited the rights of individuals to seek remedies through the courts for perceived wrongs. They have also used procedural cases to confer "near-total immunity on prosecutors and police," even undercutting aspects of Miranda rights. Certain decisions on integration, voter rights and affirmative action have raised questions about plaintiffs' future abilities to pursue any rights case in the courts. The court's decisions have also been geared toward establishing a new balance between federal and state governments and redefining congressional responsibility regarding the economy.A well-researched, unsettling investigation of recent trends in the nation's highest court. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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