The Supreme Court: Its Politics, Personalities, and Procedures

The Supreme Court: Its Politics, Personalities, and Procedures

The Supreme Court: Its Politics, Personalities, and Procedures

The Supreme Court: Its Politics, Personalities, and Procedures

Excerpt

Since 1937, the Supreme Court of the United States has been subjected to a series of attacks perhaps more unrelenting than those which were directed against the "Nine Old Men" of the earlier 1930's. The modern attacks are directed not only to the substance of the Supreme Court's decisions but also against the justices, their law clerks, and the very manner in which the Court operates as a working institution. This book is concerned primarily with aspects of the problem that are ordinarily omitted in the constitutional law casebook—the realities of the judicial selection process, the relationship of the Supreme Court to the state supreme courts and to professional legal organizations, and the evolution and modern characteristics of the decision-making process, each topic being treated in historical perspective.

The book is intended for several uses: as a supplement to American government texts or constitutional law casebooks in political science courses; as a supplement to materials offered in courses on modern American history; and as a work which may be of value to state or federal judges, lawyers, and interested laymen.

Because the data-gathering stage of this slim volume began more than four years ago, my indebtedness extends to many individuals. Several of my colleagues at the State University of Iowa, notably Vernon Van Dyke, Lane Davis, Donald B. Johnson, Arnold Rogow, and Samuel Hays (History), read portions of the manuscript and gave helpful advice and encouragement. Chester Bam of the University of Virginia aided not only in this respect, but also, at crucial junctures, in the gathering of data. Devere Pentony, Merle Arp, and Eugene Reyhons were of invaluable assistance in . . .

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