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Executive Disorder: The Subversion of the United States Supreme Court, 1914-1940 Paperback – June 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ann McReynolds Bush attended the State University of New York where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. She took her Master of Library Science Degree at Columbia University. After a career in Education, she began to research her family's history and conducted an extensive study in original documents in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st edition (June 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453652647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453652640
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,288,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ann McReynolds Bush attended the State University of New York where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. She took her Master of Library Science Degree at Columbia University. After a career in Education, she began to research her family's history and conducted an extensive study in original documents in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. She is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, and her most recent book Katrina, 10 Years On is available in paperback and Kindle formats.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Reinhardt on September 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This addition to the political histories of the first half of the twentieth century traces the arc of the legal career of James Clark MacReynolds, from government attorney ardently enforcing the then-recently enacted antitrust statutes (a vast expansion of federal powers) to Supreme Court Justice defending the limits of federal power enshrined in the Constitution. The inevitable conflict with FDR's short srift approach to such limitations as obstacles to implementation of New Deal statutes creates the dramatic focus of the story.

A very well-researched history, and a valuable view over our shoulders as we face similar ends-versus-means debates today.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Len on October 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is really a remarkable piece of Americana that portrays through Supreme Court decisions the development of much of the law that we live by today. The focus on Justice McReynolds gives color and depth to the continous struggle needed to restrain abuses by the Executive Branch. What many would consider a dry subject morphs into the form of a novel except that the superb details and references give it a ring of truth and accuracy that cannot be denied. It belongs in the library of anyone interested in Biography and Law.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Tucker on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you are a lawyer or a libertarian, you are doubtless aware that the headlong rush to trample the Constitutional limitations on governmental power sprang largely from events during FDR's presidency. The presidential and congressional policies then adopted--which were ultimately sanctioned by the Supreme Court--led inexorably to the nanny state that we "enjoy" today.

But you have almost certainly never heard the compelling and powerful story of that era as seen through the eyes of one of the "Four Horsemen"--the four Supreme Court Justices who consistently opposed FDR's expansion of the breath and scope of the federal government's grasp. The recently released book titled Executive Disorder: The Subversion of the United States Supreme Court, 1914-1940 tells this important story. This breezy yet gripping narrative carefully recounts--using the writings of Justice James Clark McReynolds and others--the events that led to the dismantling of substantive due process and the broadened perceived reach of the Commerce Clause. The following excerpt from Justice McReynolds' opinion in Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1925) succinctly summarizes his view of these issues:

If the phrase `executive power' infolds the one now claimed, many others heretofore totally unsuspected may lie there awaiting future supposed necessity, and no human intelligence can define the field of the President's permissible activities. A masked battery of constructive powers would complete the destruction of liberty.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the author of Executive Disorder, Ann McReynolds Bush, for providing us with this fascinating account. It is a "must read" for students of constitutional history and libertarian philosophy.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reads A Lot on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
We think of the past couple of decades as the apogee of "dirty politics." Guess again: this has been going on since the dawn of the Republic when Thomas Jefferson privately hired a flack to besmirch John Adams. This book illustrates an excellent (and unfortunate) example from the Roosevelt Era of the use of the great lie method of attacking one's enemies. Say something often enough from enough ostensibly different sources and, voila!, it becomes fact. The so-called Four Horsemen, and McReynolds in particular, had the unfortunate habit of disagreeing with FDR. However great a President he was, he did not take opposition well and was a great proponent of the third law of politics: "Don't get mad; get even." The sad part about the way he went about doing this is that it created a fiction that survives to this day - at least among students of the period.

A good read.
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Executive Disorder: The Subversion of the United States Supreme Court, 1914-1940
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