The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist
By John A. Jenkins
Public Affairs (2012)
The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court
By Jeffrey Toobin
Two books about the Supreme Court came out this fall, and both of them were a slap in the face. When finished with each, I was sad. In each, the revelations were profound: The Supreme Court is just another political institution, except we can’t reject those politicians at the polls.
I came to law school, packing my rose colored glasses, thinking of the Supreme Court as this venerable, untouchable, incorruptible institution. It is, after all, the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions in our democracy. It was an example to me, a mere uninformed citizen, of the “shining city on a hill,”1 an institution of intellectual and political purity. So my civics teachers led me to believe in high school and college.
But what did they know? Had they ever studied any Supreme Court cases? Apparently not. As we all do in l
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