Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (Constitutionalism and Democracy) Hardcover – March 5, 2012
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Filled with telling anecdotes illuminating the personalities of Supreme Court justices, these essays also show how the institution of the Supreme Court law clerk has developed. Law clerks―and their employers―come through in these essays as human beings working in an extraordinary environment.(Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School author of A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law)
In Chambers is a worthy successor to the editors’ landmark books on law clerks in the Supreme Court. The contributors’ essays present vivid and informative depictions of the interactions between justices and clerks, and in the process they tell us a good deal that is new about the Court and its personnel. People with an interest in the Supreme Court will enjoy and learn from this valuable book.(Larry Baum, The Ohio State University author of The Supreme Court )
As we learn more about how the once and still secretive Supreme Court functions, the role of law clerks becomes increasingly important in understanding the inner dynamic as well as the nuts and bolts of the judicial process on high. Todd Peppers and Artemus Ward have given us not only a fascinating view of the world of the clerks and their justices but one that will be essential to future historians working to explicate the nation’s most important tribunal.(Melvin I. Urofsky, Virginia Commonwealth University author of Division and Discord: The Supreme Court under Stone and Vinson, 1941–1953)
"This new collection of essays, including some by former clerks, takes readers inside justices’ chambers for a look at clerkship life.... [T]he best parts of the book are the behind-the-scenes descriptions of life at the court: Justice Hugo Black cooking breakfast for the two clerks that lived with him during the 1953 term, Justice Byron White engaging in in-office golf putting competitions with his clerks, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist putting together NCAA betting pools and taking walks outside the court with his clerks.... [A]n impressive and comprehensive book."(Associated Press)
Peppers and Ward have edited a wonderful collection of essays.... The essays in this volume, most of which have not been published before, highlight the important role that clerks play on the Court. They also do an extraordinary job of revealing the human face of the Court.... Highly recommended.(CHOICE)
[A]n excellent book... It's interesting for many different reasons, not the least of which as a reminder of how much of a bastion of elitism the Court has always been. You should read it if you are interested in legal history, or in learning more about the way the justices lived and worked, or even if you want to know why the Court still sometimes acts as though it were the 19th Century.(The Atlantic Monthly)
About the Author
Todd C. Peppers, Henry H. and Trudye H. Fowler Associate Professor of Public Affairs at Roanoke College and a Visiting Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, is the author of Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk. Artemus Ward, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University, is the coauthor, with David Weiden, of Sorcerers’ Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court.
Top customer reviews
First up is a discussion of the creation of the clerk position by Justice Horace Gray between 1882 and 1902, continuing his practice from his service on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Gray had to pay his clerks out of his own pocket; eventually, Congress funded a position for each Justice. The clerk's role underwent serious development beginning in the 1920's, and that is where the essays begin with Holmes, Brandeis, Cardozo (by his biographer, Andrew Kaufman), and Stone (written by the amazing Bennett Boskey, still practicing here in Washington in his mid-90's). These all are great essays; what a way to kick off the volume!
Next, the editors take us into what they term the "Premodern Clerkship Institution," with two essays on Black, and individual essays on Frankfurter, Douglas, Rutledge and Whittaker. Also included are essays on the first female clerk, Lucile Lomen, and African-American clerk, William Coleman--somewhat of an institution here in Washington. Some surprising judicial pictures emerge, with Frankfurter turning out to be a warm mentor to his clerks while Douglas treats them somewhat like serfs. Once again, the essays in this section are all top-notch.
The "Modern Clerkship Institution" collects the final group of essays. The subjects are Warren, Brennan, Goldberg, White, Thurgood Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist and Ginsburg. These essays are particularly interesting since they are drawn from the modern court period of 1953 to the present. Of these, I found editor Artemus Ward's essay on Rehnquist particularly insightful and valuable. Not only do we learn something of Rehnquist the man, but also how the Chief Justice's law clerks (including the present CJ, John Roberts) functioned in an somewhat more expansive role than the Associate Justices' clerks. An afterword by reporter Tony Mauro and an appendix of two documents (including a key letter from Rehnquist's co-clerk under Robert Jackson in reference to who wrote the famous memo "A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases" that caused Rehnquist much trouble during his confirmation hearings to become CJ) conclude the 410-page volume.
The two primary benefits of this collection are: (a) we learn about the informal personalities of some major Justices; and (b) we see how absolutely essential the clerks are to the effective functioning of the Court. In fact, I would suggest that one really can't understand how the current Court works without consuming this volume--it is that good.
The book is an insightful look into the inner workings of the Court...worth the time for anyone interested in the legal process at the top of the pyramid.