- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 26, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195120434
- ISBN-13: 978-0195120431
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #938,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rethinking the New Deal Court: The Structure of a Constitutional Revolution 1st Edition
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"A meticulous craftsman, Cushman builds a convincing case for his revisionist thesis. His book is a smooth blend of intellectual and political history; he is equally at home with the nuances of legal doctrine on the Court and the political battles going on outside it. He brings out of the large unruly mass of constitutional cases decided between 1870 and 1937 a strong, clear story, powerful in its simplicity and very persuasive. After this book no one will be able to talk about the 'Constitutional Revolution of the New Deal' in quite the same way again."--Robert W. Gordon, Yale Law School
"It is not often that a book comes along that provides a whole new way of thinking about a familiar subject. But Barry Cushman has written a convincing, revolutionary reinterpretation of the conventional wisdom about the so-called 'Constitutional Revolution of 1937' and its notorious 'switch in time'. In the process, Cushman provides us with a compelling and powerful counter-argument about the true origins and dimensions of constitutional and historical change in the New Deal period."--Alfred S. Konefsky, SUNY at Buffalo Law School
About the Author
Barry Cushman is Associate Professor of Law at Saint Louis University.
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Fortunately, I ran across this title and recommend it to anyone looking for an intelligent analysis of the legal conservatives' positions. It's not about the court-packing fight per se, but provides an invaluable explanation of the constitutional conflict at the time.
Contrary to popular opinion, argues Cushman, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped protecting private property and freedom of contract years before Roosevelt threatened to pack it. Too often Cushman fails to question the intent of various government regulations, but his analysis of the gradual blurring of the distinction between public and private spheres immeasurably improves our understanding of the demise of laissez-faire constitutionalism.
Careful readers will also notice an irony in Cushman's attempt to draw lessons from his story. Again and again, he tells us to beware the temptation to reduce law to politics; law, he wants us to know, has its own logic. Yet his own account suggests that politics inside the Court is a crucial part of that logic.
...those who are interested in the constitutional history of the United States will want to read this book. They should, however, have handy at least the most important of the decisions Cushman discusses, and they should read carefully-the raw material is dense, and so is the book. In the end, however, they will find they have learned more than they would have imagined, and not just about the period Cushman covers. The real lesson of the book highlights the need for a better understanding of just what it is that judges do and why.