The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution
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The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution

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In The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution, Tinsley Yarbrough provides a comprehensive look at today's Supreme Court Justices and their record-a study all the more valuable for the Court's mixed decisions and hard-to-categorize course. An accomplished biographer, Yarbrough offers incisive portraits of the nine who now sit on the high bench, and tellingly reviews their nomination hearings. He also explores the workings of the Court, ranging from the selection and role of the clerks to the work load (including the end-of-term "June crunch") and assignment of opinions. But the heart of the book is a systematic exploration of the Court's record in such fields as government power, economic regulation, and criminal justice. In decision after decision, the author discusses the various justices' opinions, arguments, and legal theories; he also offers his own analysis (including a sharp critique of the decision to allow the Paula Jones lawsuit to move forward). Like many writers on the Rehnquist Court, Yarbrough finds a general continuity with the past, shaded by a conservative outlook (especially in matters of criminal justice and affirmative action), but he identifies a significant departure in its rulings on economic regulation. Since 1937, he writes, the Supreme Court had generally adopted an expansive view of federal power over economic matters; the Rehnquist Court has reversed that trend. The Rehnquist Court has not launched an all-out assault on the Warren Court's precedents, as many conservatives hoped, but as Yarbrough shows it has embarked on important new departures. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, intelligently written, this book will stand as the finest study of the Rehnquist Court for years to come.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 158.5 x 232.7 x 20.8mm | 458.14g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195146034
  • 9780195146035

Review quote

"Yarbrough, author of widely respected earlier works on the Supreme Court, has produces another outstanding volume that belongs on the bookshelf of all Court observers. In this case, Yarbrough offers astute analysis and cogent criticism of the High Court under the chief justiceship of William H. Rehnquist, who was appointed to the bench by President Nixon and elevated to the position of Chief Justice by President Reagan.... If one were to read a single work on the Rehnquist Court to this point, one should look no further than this fine, persuasive volume."-Library Journal "This is one of the most thorough and incisive guides to date on the thinking and deliberative process of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice William Rehnquist."-Publishers Weekly "The Supreme Court may be an issue in the presidential election: seven of the justices were named by Republicans; just two by a Democrat. Since the next president may nominate several, this analysis of the Rehnquist Cousrt is timely."-Booklist "In this timely study a mature scholar weights the successes and failures of conservative attempts to 'Reaganize' the Supreme Court and constitutional law. Yarbrough's mixed balance sheet is fair-minded, succinct, insightful, and laced with fresh detail. Highly recommended to students, teachers, and general readers alike." -J. Woodford Howard, Jr., Thomas P. Stran Professor Emeritus of Political Science, The Johns Hopkins University "Tinsley Yarbrough adds to his already impressive list of Supreme Court 'biographies this compelling study of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and his colleagues. Like his previous books, this new one is a model of scholarship, rooted as it is in the best sources and balanced as it is in its approach to not only Chief Justice Rehnquist but to the complex and highly competitive justices who make the nation's constitutional law. We are fortunate to have a scholar of Yarbrough's good judgment, clear intelligence, and fine writing skills to help us fix the Court in the larger universe of Ronald Reagan and his legacy of a thoroughly conservative federal judiciary."-Kermit L. Hall, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of History, North Carolina State University "Meticulously researched, expertly analyzed, and written clearly and comprehensively, this book has captured the essence of the universe of the Rehnquist Court and its Justices. One of the country's foremost judicial biographers, Yarbrough has succeeded admirably in presenting and evaluating that tribunal's record in learned, objective, no-nonsense compass. It is a splendid work."-Henry J. Abraham, James Hart Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, Emeritus, University of Virginiashow more

About Tinsley E. Yarbrough

Tinsley E. Yarbrough is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University. His books include Judicial Enigma: The First Justice Harlan, John Marshall Harlan: Great Dissenter of the Warren Court, and Judge Frank Johnson and Human Rights in Alabama, for which he won an ABA Silver Gavel Award. He lives in Greenville, North Carolina.show more

Rating details

9 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
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3 67% (6)
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1 11% (1)
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