Our Constitution: Tool or Testament?

Our Constitution: Tool or Testament?

Our Constitution: Tool or Testament?

Our Constitution: Tool or Testament?

Excerpt

Of all the institutions which make up our system of government, the average citizen finds the Supreme Court most difficult to understand. Likewise it is the most difficult to interpret to the lay reader. Its functions are legal, its procedures are technical and the effects of its judgments on public policy are not always readily discernible. For these reasons every effort to make the Court's place in our scheme of things more generally intelligible is to be welcomed.

Mr. Levy has adopted the device of explaining the Court by explaining biographically four of its leading figures. For the purpose he has chosen two Chief Justices, Marshall and Taney, and two Associate Justices, Holmes and Brandeis. His task has not been easy, for the biographical explanation of the Court within any reasonable compass is perhaps the most difficult approach to the subject.

These essays will serve the layman well for they make available a point of view which has been evolved as a matter of sound, liberal legal scholarship. And for all of us, lawyers and laymen alike, the author has provided a well-written book with interesting insights on the philosophic tracings of jurisprudence and the problems of judicial self-restraint today.

Unifying Mr. Levy's very provocative and instructive book is the central problem of the role of the Supreme Court in a . . .

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