Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment

By Christopher E. Smith | Go to book overview

Preface

Scholars who study the United States Supreme Court face special challenges in seeking to gain the information necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the high court's decision making. The justices who serve on the Supreme Court issue written opinions that formally present the Court's decisions and reasoning. However, these written opinions do not provide a complete picture of judicial decision-making processes. In order to protect the image and legitimacy of the judicial branch, the justices remain cloistered behind their marble columns and velvet curtains as they seek to perpetuate the myth that they merely interpret law rather than create public policy. Scholars are well aware that the justices do much more than interpret law. The papers and autobiographies of deceased justices, comments to the press by anonymous law clerks, and occasional anecdotes revealed by the justices themselves all provide clues about the interactions, strategic and otherwise, that shape Supreme Court decisions as the justices seek to persuade each other about desirable outcomes. The black robes of judicial office cannot eliminate the human attributes and motivations of the people appointed to sit on the nation's most authoritative court. However, because these human beings strive to remain

-ix-

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Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Supreme Court's Conservative Moment 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Justice Antonin Scalia 25
  • Conclusion 50
  • Notes 51
  • 3 - Justice Scalia's Judicial Behavior 55
  • Notes 73
  • 4 - Justice Scalia and the Failure of the Conservative Agenda 77
  • Notes 115
  • 5 - The Influence of the Individual Justice 121
  • Notes 134
  • Select Bibliography 137
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 148
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