Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Supreme Court

In 2007 Jeffrey Toobin wrote The Nine: Inside the World of the Supreme Court. While traveling this summer we found it a most interesting and informative audio CD which I would certainly recommend to anyone interested in the workings of the court. The personalities as well as political persuasions on the court vary widely, as we all know, but there were surprises behind the scenes, such as the strong friendship between Ginsberg and Scalia. It was a real surprise to read about Clarence Thomas, who is most jovial and talkative with the staff working in the court building, who goes on RV vacations and holds forth with folks in the countryside, yet virtually never says a word in the court. The importance of Sandra Day O'Connor as a critical swing vote in so many cases, and the drama around her replacement was intriguing. There is extensive and compelling history behind the abortion issue, separation of church and state issues, and the people working behind the scenes attempting to influence the court in specific directions. It's a worthwhile read/listen to a good analytical writer who knows and understands the workings of the highest court in our country.

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