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Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: From Brandeis to Kagan (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life) Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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“This landmark collective biography of the Jewish men and women who have served on our nation’s highest court reminds us that, long before the twenty-first century, conservatives and liberals battled over the limits of free speech, the rule of reason, and even fake news. David Dalin’s Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court is that all-too-rare history that serves up lessons from the past that speak to our moment in time.” (Pamela S. Nadell, president of the Association for Jewish Studies, and Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University)
“Although Jewish justices have played a central role on the modern Supreme Court, David Dalin’s book is the first to offer a comprehensive series of portraits of the entire group, from Louis Brandeis to Elena Kagan. With memorable details and gripping narrative, Dalin provides an invaluable account of the contributions of these remarkable justices, who continue to shape our understanding of the Constitution today.” (Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO, National Constitution Center, and author of Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet)
“The scholarship behind this work is impressive. The writing is authoritative, and the research and knowledge displayed are extraordinary. . . . this will be the go-to book regarding Jews and the Supreme Court.” (Gil Troy, professor of history, McGill University, and author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s)
“David Dalin’s book is a fascinating history of American law, of Jewish accomplishment in the American legal field, and of the lives of the Jewish Justices who have served on the Supreme Court.” (Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple (Los Angeles); author of David: The Divided Heart)
“David Dalin has provided an engaging and well written book on the eight Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court. It will be essential reading for students of Supreme Court history, for students of American Jewish history, and for all those who think about the relationship between Jews and the legal profession. Dalin offers a unique perspective on important aspects of American history.” (Marshall Breger, Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law at Catholic University)
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Of the eight Jewish Justices, Frankfurter and Fortas started out as orthodox but abandoned observances by adolescents. Brandeis was not a practicing Jew. Goldberg played an active role in organized Jewry. Breyer is a member of the Reformed Synagogue. Ginsburg and Kagan are active in their faith. Ginsburg has a mezuzah on the door post to her chambers. Kagan in the only Justice in American history to have celebrated her Bat Mitzvah. Just a little fact, Frankfurter refused to hire Ginsburg as his clerk because of her gender. Some of the Jewish Justices also were clerks; Kagan clerked for Thurgood Marshall and Stephen Breyer for Arthur Goldberg. Kagan also clerked for Abner Mikva of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The eight Jewish Justices are as follows: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan.
The book is well written and researched. There is lots of information about the Justices. Also, a sad tale of anti-Semitism in this country. Dalin provides a brief biography of each of the eight Jewish Justices. Dalin points out that Felix Frankfurter changed from a liberal before appointment to a conservative after appointment to the Court. The book is easy to read and packed full of information.
I read this on my Kindle app for my iPad. The book is 384 pages and was published in April 2017.