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Injustices : The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted
by Ian Millhiser


Overview - Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law.  Read more...

 
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More About Injustices by Ian Millhiser
 
 
 
Overview
Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. 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 and its willingness to place elections for sale.

In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. 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, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren't for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way.

In Injustices, Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people's elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781568584560
  • ISBN-10: 1568584563
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publish Date: March 2015
  • Page Count: 351
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.75 x 9.75 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > Government - Judicial Branch
Books > Law > Government - Federal
Books > History > United States - 20th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-02
  • Reviewer: Staff

This book is a sustained attack, reaching back to the post–Civil War era, on the Supreme Court. To the author, its justices are a set of villains—men of power who manipulated constitutional law to favor the already favored and keep the less fortunate within legal straitjackets. Millhiser, a senior constitutional policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, delivers arguments that are muscular and well-substantiated. They won’t please today’s conservatives, who, along with most justices, Millhiser sees as defenders of money and privilege. The trouble is that his arguments are not new. Also, because unrelieved (save for occasional praise for the likes of Earl Warren), they wear out the reader. One would hope that the author had some solutions to the Court’s composition and actions to offer, but all he states is “the only practical solution to bad Supreme Court justices is good Supreme Court justices.” Surely that is the case, whatever your legal and political views. Do we need an entire book to arrive at that conclusion? Liberals have found ways around its constitutional roadblocks before, and Millhiser might have shown us how they’d done so. Agent: Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. (Apr.)

 
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