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The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court Paperback – September 9, 2008
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In The Nine, acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin takes us into the chambers of the most importantâand secretâlegal body in our country, the Supreme Court, revealing the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land. An institution at a moment of transition, the Court now stands at a crucial point, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, and church-state relations. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and with a keen sense of the Courtâs history and the trajectory of its future, Jeffrey Toobin creates in The Nine a riveting story of one of the most important forces in American life today.
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The best part of the book is his biographical sketches of the Justices. Toobin really makes them come to life and has some very interesting behind-the-scenes vignettes of them. Especially interesting is his analysis of the Clinton and Bush II nominees - especially the Harriet Miers debacle and the John Roberts nomination.
The book sometimes wanders when it discusses the actual cases and his analysis of Bush v. Gore is too partisan for my tastes (and I am a Democrat). But for someone who didn't take Constitutional Law in law school, this will be a good summary of the most important recent decisions.
The only main criticism I have is the structure. Toobin never gives a roadmap as to what he is going to cover and the chapter headings don't allow the reader to know what the chapter is going to be about (e.g. "Just Deserts" or "Question Presented"). He was being too cute here and took me a while to figure out where the book was heading (it's fairly chronological after the first 50 pages).
In all, I found myself tearing through this book and for a topic that could be potentially very boring, I will tip my hat to Toobin.
I really appreciated the glimpses Toobin gives us of the private lives of the court members. You meet the conservative Scalia, the battle scarred conservative Clarence Thomas, the brilliant and scholarly Sandra Day O'Connor, the reserved and quiet David Souter, the sturdy leader Judge Rehnquist, and the others. You learn about the Ruth Bader Ginsburg nomination process, and the challenges that the Court faced in deliberating cases related to the abortion issue.
I would recommend this book to anyone. Thumbs up.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is highly biased.Read more