Injustices

Injustices

The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

Book - 2015
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"Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of everyday people who have suffered the most as a result of its judgements. The justices built a nation where children toiled in coal mines and cotton mills, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where women were sterilized at the command of states. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights, its willingness to place elections for sale, and its growing skepticism towards the democratic process generally. In this book, Millhiser argues the Supreme Court does not deserve the respect it commands. To the contrary, it routinely bent the arc of American history away from justice"-- Provided by publisher
"Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of everyday people who have suffered the most as a result of its judgements. The justices built a nation where children toiled in coal mines and cotton mills, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where women were sterilized at the command of states. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights, its willingness to place elections for sale, and its growing skepticism towards the democratic process generally. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent 30 years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next 40 years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. Similarly, the recent, nearly successful legal attack on Obamacare was in the spirit of early twentieth century decisions like Lochner v. New York and Hammer v. Dagenhart that treated the American people's right to govern themselves with great skepticism. Recently, cases like Citizens United allowed rivers of money to flood our democracy; and Shelby County tore out the heart of American voting rights law. These cases are hardly anomalies; they fit a pattern of justices placing powerful interests above the welfare of the general public. In the Warren Era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But this era, Millhiser contends, was an historic accident. Indeed, if it wasn't for a several unpredictable events-such as a former Ku Klux Klansman's decision to become a passionate supporter of racial justice, or a fatal heart attack that killed the Chief Justice of the United States-Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way In this book, Millhiser argues the Supreme Court does not deserve the respect it commands. To the contrary, it routinely bent the arc of American history away from justice"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Nation Books, [2015]
ISBN: 9781568584560
1568584563
Characteristics: xv, 351 pages ; 25 cm

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StarGladiator
Mar 28, 2015

Growing up, I often heard Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes referred to as a // noble jurist \\ - - after reading this book, and hearing of Buck v. Bell, one is aghast at the depravity of Holmes! Publishers Weekly claims this book is a sustained attack, while the discerning reader [yours truly] would call it a fact-filled and honest representation of the murky and many times, vile, history of the US Supreme Court [SCOTUS]. On page 54 you will find a priceless and historically accurate description of Alexander Hamilton [most representative of what the modern democratic party stood for at its high point], and Thomas Jefferson [fundamentally embracing modern-day republican values] - - something which has been mangled by too many hacks, thus proving the extraordinary scholarship of the author! [There are many other gems throughout.]

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