Supreme Court in the News

As we await what would be a historic moment for the United States Supreme Court should Ketanji Brown Jackson be confirmed, Lititz Public Library offers this selection of recent books on the history and members, past and present, of the Court. From Chief Justice Marbury, considered the father of the Supreme Court as we know it, to the contentious confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, we hope these books provide a lesson in how the Court began and the lives of its justices over the years.

John Marshall : The Forgotten FoJohn Marshall : the final founder : a biography and thoughts on the issues of American history he inspired / Robert Strauss – Eighteenth- and 19th-century contemporaries believed Marshall to be, if not the equal of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, at least very close to that pantheon. John Marshall: The Final Founder demonstrates that not only can Marshall be considered one of those Founding Fathers, but that what he did as the Chief Justice was not just significant, but the glue that held the union together after the original founding days. The Supreme Court met in the basement of the new Capitol building in Washington when Marshall took over, which is just about what the executive and legislative branches thought of the judiciary.

A user’s guide to democracy : how America works / Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy ; illustrated by Tom Toro –  It’s the book that sits on your desk for quick reference when the nightly news boggles your mind. This approachable and informative guide gives you the lowdown on everything from the three branches of government, to what you can actually do to make your vote count, to how our founding documents practically affect our daily lives.

The American story : conversations with master historians / David M. Rubenstein – Through his popular program The David Rubenstein Show, David Rubenstein has established himself as one of our most thoughtful interviewers. Now, in The American Story, David captures the brilliance of our most esteemed historians, as well as the souls of their subjects. The book features introductions by Rubenstein as well a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead our national library. Richly illustrated with archival images from the Library of Congress, the book is destined to become a classic for serious readers of American history.

The Chief : The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John RobertsThe Chief : the life and turbulent times of Chief Justice John Roberts / Joan Biskupic – John Roberts was named to the Supreme Court in 2005 claiming he would act as a neutral umpire in deciding cases. His critics argue he has been anything but, pointing to his conservative victories on voting rights and campaign finance. Yet he broke from orthodoxy in his decision to preserve Obamacare. How are we to understand the motives of the most powerful judge in the land? In The Chief, … Biskupic contends that Roberts is torn between two, often divergent, priorities: to carry out a conservative agenda, and to protect the Court’s image and his place in history.

First : Sandra Day O’Connor / Evan Thomas – Based on exclusive interviews and access to the Supreme Court archives, this is the intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of America’s first female Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor–by New York Times bestselling author Evan Thomas.

The making of a justice : reflections on my first 94 years / Justice John Paul Stevens – When Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court of the United States in 2010, he left a legacy of service unequaled in the history of the Court. During his thirty-four-year tenure, Justice Stevens was a prolific writer, authoring more than 1000 opinions. In The Making of a Justice, he recounts his extraordinary life, offering an intimate and illuminating account of his service on the nation’s highest court.

Confirmation bias : inside Washington’s war over the Supreme Court, from Scalia’s death to Justice Kavanaugh / Carl Hulse – The Chief Washington Correspondent for the New York Times presents a richly detailed, news-breaking, and conversation-changing look at the unprecedented political fight to fill the Supreme Court seat made vacant by Antonin Scalia’s death–using it to explain the paralyzing and all but irreversible dysfunction across all three branches in the nation’s capital.

The Fourth Way : The Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP MajorityThe fourth way : the conservative playbook for a lasting GOP majority / Hugh Hewitt – Hewitt spells out how Trump and a unified GOP can transform the country and earn a lasting place in history. From defense to immigration, from entitlements to health care, Hewitt outlines how the new President, with the top leaders in Congress and with allies in fifty statehouses, can find a way out of the gridlock and the destructive showdowns that have marked the past quarter-century of American politics.

Dissent : the radicalization of the Republican Party and its capture of the Court / Jackie Calmes – An award-winning investigative journalist presents an account of the life and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, featuring interviews with his accusers and evidence of his deceptions amongst the Republican Party’s drive toward the far right.

Justice on trial : the Kavanaugh confirmation and the future of the Supreme Court / Mollie Hemingway, Carrie Severino – Justice Anthony Kennedy slipped out of the Supreme Court building on June 27, 2018, and traveled incognito to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that he was retiring, setting in motion a political process that his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, would denounce three months later as a “national disgrace” and a “circus.”

Jane Against the World : Roe V. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive RightsJane against the world : Roe v. Wade and the fight for reproductive rights / Karen Blumenthal – A history of the fight for reproductive rights in the United States. Tracing the path to the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and the continuing battle for women’s rights, Blumenthal examines the root causes of the current debate around abortion and repercussions that have affected generations of American women. This book intends to facilitate difficult discussions and awareness of a topic that is rarely touched on in school but affects each and every young person. Includes a glossary of legal and medical terms, timeline, and information about significant Supreme Court cases.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg : a life / Jane Sherron De Hart – The first full life–private, public, legal, philosophical–of the 107th Supreme Court Justice, one of the most profound and profoundly transformative legal minds of our time; a book fifteen years in work, written with the cooperation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself and based on many interviews with the justice, her husband, her children, her friends, and her associates.

Supreme inequality : the Supreme Court’s fifty-year battle for a more unjust America / Adam Cohen – In Supreme Inequality, bestselling author Adam Cohen surveys the most significant Supreme Court rulings since the Nixon era and exposes how, contrary to what Americans like to believe, the Supreme Court does little to protect the rights of the poor and disadvantaged; in fact, it has not been on their side for fifty years. Cohen proves beyond doubt that the modern Court has been one of the leading forces behind the nation’s soaring level of economic inequality, and that an institution revered as a source of fairness has been systematically making America less fair.