Edward Lazarus, a former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun, spills the beans on an institution that values silence. Nobody is supposed to understand what happens behind the scenes of the high court--that's why the justices rarely speak to the media--but Lazarus tells all he knows from his time as a top aide to Blackmun in the Supreme Court's 1988 term. There's a lot of legal theory and history, but it's well presented and usually focuses on touchstone issues in U.S. politics; cases involving abortion, the death penalty, and racial preferences receive sustained treatment in these pages. There are gossipy bits, too, revealing unflattering details about several current justices. Sure to be one of the more controversial books of the year. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Part memoir, part constitutional history, this volume by a former law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun reflects both his own experience at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1988-89 term and substantial and original research. Lazarus, now a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, is a fine writer who makes accessible the legal esoterica behind the compelling struggles about such issues as the death penalty, abortion, and the role of race in the law. But his story is really a lamentation over, in his view, inconsistent and irrational adjudication, driven to an unprecedented degree by ideology and the manipulation practiced by unprincipled law clerks. Justices Kennedy and Brennan come in for particular attack on these grounds, while Justice Souter warrants his praise. Whether Lazarus is right or wrong in his assessment, this book is big news?few law clerks write such behind-the-scenes accounts. The clarity and authority with which he writes makes his contribution to the literature on the Supreme Court even more valuable. Recommended for all libraries.?Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I finally got around to reading this book nearly 10 years after I bought it. Man, did I miss out. The book is extremely easy to read and well written. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Edward J. Barton
The Supreme Court is a body that is so important, but about which so little is known. Even, I think, the intelligence agencies are more public about the manner in which they... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ameripen
A very interesting read geared toward lawyers based on the legal issues that are discussed. Without that background, I'm not sure it would be as interesting.Published 14 months ago by Denise
This book is an important look at how the nation's highest court, and one made up of unelected individuals, influences our lives. Read morePublished on December 15, 2011 by Michael D. Chlanda
In this first-hand account through the lens of Supreme Court Clerk of Justice Blackmun from 1988-89, Edward Lazarus,
growth of "federalism. Read more
Lazarus does a great job explaining complex legal issues without dumbing them down and Justice Blackmun really comes alive on these pages. Read morePublished on October 6, 2009 by Touffu
Edward Lazarus's Closed Chambers is a master work; and joins Bernard Schwartz's Super Chief as the two best books I've read to date about the Supreme Court. Read morePublished on July 22, 2008 by James Denson
Closed Chambers is highly entertaining and gracefully written, but it is not for the average reader. Read morePublished on May 4, 2006 by Jon