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Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics (Ninth Edition) [Paperback]

David M. O'Brien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 24, 2011 0393911969 978-0393911961 Ninth Edition

An inside look at the workings of the Supreme Court written by a top scholar and commentator.

In this engaging and illuminating narrative of the Supreme Court, David O’Brien shows students how the Court is a “storm center” of political controversy, where personality, politics, law, and justice come together to shape and often change drastically the society in which we live. Details such as how the Court decides which cases to review, the rise of individual opinions, and the expanded role of clerks are explained in lively, accessible prose.

The Ninth Edition includes new material on President Barack Obama’s appointments of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan; Chief Justice Roberts’s role in conference and in important administrative changes within the Court; and new material from the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist's papers and from the Clinton Presidential Library.

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Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics (Ninth Edition) + Modern Constitutional Law, Cases and Notes, 10th (American Casebooks)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With the abortion and school desegregation decisions, O'Brien contends, the Supreme Court has ceased to be Hamilton's "least dangerous branch." Increasingly activist, it has in fact become a "storm center" of national politics. Ever mindful of our judicial past, O'Brien likewise finds the Court is markedly more bureaucratic. His lucid text descibes the inner rules and proceduresthe cost of filings, screening procedures, certiorari petitions, the justices' give-and-take negotiations, their tentative votes and maneuverings, the oral arguments, the growing number of dissents and plurality opinions. O'Brien finds the Court rife with heated personal clashes. Rather than above the battle, it is highly sensitive to external pressures, from the President, Congress, public opinion. This is an illuminating, first-rate primer for those seeking to understand the workings of the Court. Milton Cantor, History Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


O'Brien's Storm Center is a very useful introduction to the Court, well-liked by students for its lively style, anecdotes, and political acumen. -- Carol Nackenoff, Swarthmore College --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Ninth Edition edition (February 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393911969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393911961
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Acquainted with the Supreme Court May 22, 2000
By A Customer
If you know only a bare minimum about the Supreme Court, or know a lot, this is an excellent book to supplement that knowledge. It is both an excellent narrative about some of the biggest battles between the Justices themselves and an informational text explaining the ins-and-outs of how a case actually comes to be decided by the Court. All in all, it is well worth reading.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful insight into the court... December 3, 2000
This is an excellent examination into the history of the court and the politics that led to its current make-up. O'Brien does a good job making this an interesting and often riviting historical examination.
This has become a valuable tool in my personal and educational understanding of today's court. With the public eye close to the court these days (Presidential Election) the individual and personal examinations that O'Brien has provided on the court has helped me to make my own judgements and predictions as to possible decisions. An excellent purchase for the beginner or well seasoned court watcher.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and informative July 10, 2004
By Pen ID
As an undergraduate student studying constitutional law, I found this book an excellent introduction into the court politics. O'Brien writes and organizes his book in a coherent way, allowing for the maximum material absorption coupled with intriguing facts and footnotes. "Storm Center" reveals the court as a human and error-prone institution evolving over time into a kind of super-legislation, becoming at the same time both more independent and intertwined in regard to the other two branches.
Overall, an enjoyable read for anyone willing to peak at the kitchen of law.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst experience on Amazon purchase EVER!!! April 11, 2014
By Luis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If it was possible to give a negative rating i would but since i cant i will go with the one star. I bought it on the date of April 3, and It just arrived yesterday April 10. The should be no reason why any delivery should take that long. Specially, since i ordered it through the prime account. I do not pay my prime yearly fee to get the books late. This is not your problem i understand that but because of the long wait i am three chapters behind. Keeping up with the reading is vital to earning a good grade. which why i hate the fact that it arrived so late.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative and Eye Opening January 16, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful in the understanding of how the United States Supreme Court works and how the politics that surround it inspire its decisions.
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