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The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President (Nation Books) Paperback – May 4, 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This book makes a strong case that the December 12 ruling of the Supreme Court turned that revered institution into a surrogate for the Republican Party. Could anyone conceive, Bugliosi wonders, of Justice Scalia et al. issuing an order to stop counting votes because it might do Gore "irreparable harm"? Bugliosi's writing style can best be described as clunky, with many a tortured phrase. Yet as a prosecutor trained to lead juries step by step to the conclusion he wants, Bugliosi does an interesting job of building his case, starting with "the untenable argument that there was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause." There is also a thought-provoking discussion of how the five states rights judges got entangled in the Florida case, the delegitimation of hand counts, and how the press managed to miss the story even as they relentlessly covered it. No doubt many people will feel Bugliosi goes over the line when he says the majority's actions can be construed as treason. But those who give this a fair reading will be fascinated. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Library Journal

Bugliosi (Outrage: 5 Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder), a former Los Angeles County prosecutor whose most famous trial was the Charles Manson case, uses passion and argument to establish that the U.S. Supreme Court unlawfully chose George W. Bush as president of the United States on December 12, 2000. This brief book affords the author many opportunities to express outrage about the 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision, which he believes was a tragedy for both the U.S. Constitution and democracy. He criticizes the judicial standards and constitutional logic of the Court's five conservative justices, seeing them as morally culpable and claiming that their behavior endangers essential constitutional freedoms. Further, he argues that their interpretation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment was not founded in solid legal principles. His polemical arguments often move between a wide variety of disparate ideas and topics. Bugliosi's claims about the outrageous nature of the Court decision are quite different from diverse journalistic and scholarly analyses found in other current works, such as editors E.J. Dionne Jr. and William Kristol's Bush v. Gore: The Court Case and Commentaries (LJ 4/1/01). Selected public libraries may choose Bugliosi's trade paperback book for this alternative perspective. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Nation Books
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 2nd Paperback Edition edition (May 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156025355X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253556
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
During the nation's plodding attempt to resolve the election, I paid attention day and night to the news. I downloaded and read many of the legal papers. Nothing fazed me, and I lost much sleep in my eagerness to hear and read more. But when the Supreme Court's opinion was released, I downloaded it, searched for the parts to which NBC news reporters had pointed as key, read them, and went into shock.
Realizing that, if the candidates had been reversed, the opinion would not have been the same, I attributed the contrived arguments to the ravages of unconscious bias. Unwittingly, I had assumed without evidence that, as justices of the Supreme Court, the Five would not abuse their positions knowingly to appoint a U.S. prime executive.
Then "The Nation" published Bugliosi's "None Dare Call It Treason" and distributed it over the Internet. I read this essay on-line and realized my error. Throwing off my unwarranted assumption that the bias had to have been unconscious, and retaining what else I already knew from my studies, I came to the same conclusion as Bugliosi: that the Five had committed a deliberate act of perfidy.
"None Dare Call It Treason" has been spreading among Americans for but a short while. Now in book form, as "The Betrayal of America", the essay's distribution will increase many times over, and perhaps many other readers will be able to cast aside the one assumption that blocks their most rational conclusion. This document will outlast the terms of the Five and become historic as one of the most useful things said publicly, at the time, about the Five's unfathomable imposition. This essay will not go away.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That's right, folks: Vincent Bugliosi is a Republican. Or was, last time I looked.
But he is one of the few Republicans in the nation with the guts to say, out loud, what we all know: The GOP, with the help of the GOP members of the Supreme Court, STOLE THE 2000 ELECTION.
In proof after proof after proof, Bugliosi takes a sledgehammer to the SCOTUS' ruling in Bush v. Gore, and also to the myth of the "unbiased, apolitical" Supreme Court. (In one of the book's more chilling passages, Bugliosi demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that William Rehnquist, out of sheer naked partisanship, committed perjury in order to get onto the SC, and again in order to become Chief "Justice". As Bugliosi says, Rehnquist should be making license plates, not running the nation's highest court.)
How long will the quisling Republicans be allowed to run roughshod?
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Format: Paperback
In this book, America's finest prosecutor explains the legal reasons why the Supreme Court's December 12, 2000 decision is the worst crime ever perpetrated against our country. Americans watched aghast as the Supreme Court blatantly destroyed the very foundation of our democratic republic. Bugliosi dissects this decision, peeling it apart layer by layer as one would a rotten onion. He puts words and sound legal reasoning behind Americans' gut response of supreme betrayal on that day.
Over 700 law professors from across the country, including conservative supporters of Robert Bork, protested this decision in a petition published in the New York Times. This is not a partisan issue.
Bugliosi's article in "The Nation" was entitled "None Dare Call It Treason." Perhaps it is time we called it like it is.
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Unfortunately too many people are going to see this book as a partisan thesis in support of Gore and against Bush. Although Mr. Bugliosi is clear and up front about the fact that he would prefer Gore to Bush, that is not what "The Betrayal" is about.
What Bugliosi does, simply, is put forth with irrefutable logic how the Supreme Court stole the election for their favored candidate. The evidience is clear from their own self contradictions, lack of support in law, and bizzare conduct, which mainstream media is far too timid and/or superficial to properly report.
Most of the content has shown up on The Nation's web page under the title "None Dare Call it Treason," and this edition fills out the basic text with footnotes. You can read that if buying this volume is too much of a burden.
My favorite line, which is in response to those very confused souls that thought the Florida Supreme Court was trying to steal the election and the noble U.S. Supreme Court merely stopped them, is as follows (paraphrased): You do not steal an election by wanting all the legal votes counted, which is what the Florida Supreme Court wanted. You steal an election by stopping the counting of all legal votes, which is exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did.
Tough to get around that kind of logic, although many try.
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First, let me say that I voted for Al Gore and was completely surprised by the actions taken by the Supreme Court in this case. I'm a lawyer and have studied (but am not an expert) the cases the Court used to issue the stay and ultimately dispose of this case. In my opinion, Bugliosi is correct when he states that the cases cited by the majority of the Court in their opinions do NOT support their conclusions. As Justice Stevens points out in his dissents, the majority opinions simply do not hold water and are terrible examples of legal writing and reasoning.
However, having said that I agree with Bugliosi's opinion as far as the Court's decisions, I have to strongly disagree with his characterization of the 5 conservative Justices on the Court as "criminals." Was their decision influenced by politics? Most likely, yes. Should they have ignored politics in making their decisions? Absolutely. Did they purposely allow politics to influence their decision? That's debateable. Are they "criminals?" No. While I respect Bugliosi's right to voice his strong opinions, and applaud his courage for doing so, I think he goes too far.
Overall, this is an interesting book to read, for the shock value if nothing else. Bugliosi wrote this book first as an article for a magazine and later expanded it to book form. As such, it was not written strictly with lawyers in mind. If you really want to understand the points Bugliosi makes, it helps to pull the cases relied on by the Court, read them, and make up your own mind.
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