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Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 Paperback – November 14, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard Law's Dershowitz (Reasonable Doubt, etc.) takes on the now famous, or infamous, Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore, which ended the recount of votes in Florida and in effect handed the election to Bush. This decision, writes Dershowitz, was "the single most corrupt decision in Supreme Court history," based not on law but on the desire for "partisan advantage" and "personal gain." He launches a three-pronged attack, first on the decision itself, which found that different counties using different methods of hand counts violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. This is, Dershowitz argues in detail, a bizarre and unique application of this clause with no precedents, no clear victim of discrimination and no clear intent of discrimination, and as the Court stated applicable to this case alone. He next examines prior decisions of the Court in general and the five individual justices who formed the majority and concludes that nothing in their past remotely indicated their actions here. He thus looks to motivation, and while he finds no "smoking gun," he does suggest the justices were sufficiently partisan that they should have recused themselves from the decision. In short, Dershowitz offers a forceful condemnation of the Court's action, in findings that are strikingly similar to those of Vincent Bugliosi's The Betrayal of America (Forecasts, May 21). But where Bugliosi's prose recalls the fire-and-brimstone of a fundamentalist preacher, Dershowitz, at least at times, writes as if he were addressing a constitutional law seminar at Harvard interesting if not always exciting. Still, this is an excellent analysis of a troubling case. If these two books are any indication, controversy over Bush v. Gore is not soon to go away. (June 18) Forecast: Dershowitz, a popular media commentator on legal issues, will be quite busy promoting this new book: On June 18, he'll do the Today Show, Charlie Rose and Rivera Live, and in the following days a host of other national media, as well as national TV and radio satellite tours. Review coverage will undoubtedly be solid. Expect this to pop up on bestseller lists.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Dershowitz renowned lawyer, best-selling author, and member of the Harvard Law Faculty skillfully analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court's role and controversial ruling in Bush v. Gore. After outlining the central political and legal aspects of the Supreme Court's arguments, he uncovers key inconsistencies in the majority ruling and shows how they altered key "equal protection" ideas. He also examines possible constitutional foundations for this ruling. Dershowitz argues that Supreme Court justices "hijacked Election 2000 by distorting the law, violating their own expressed principles, and using their robes to bring about a partisan result." He seriously asks whether the Supreme Court has damaged its ability to decide national issues and has damaged the political system as well. This well-reasoned and controversial book asks central questions about American democracy and the role of citizens and courts in our society. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195158075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195158076
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having received this book as a father's day present from my daughter, I felt obligated to read it immediately. As a supporter of George W. Bush's candidacy, I expected a one-sided liberal presentation of the positions constantly repeated by Al Gore and the democrats. Much to my surprise, Professor Dershowitz sets forth a thoughtful, well-reasoned and supported analysis of the events leading up to the December 2000 Supreme Court split decision. Though Professor Dershowitz makes no secret of his personal support for Mr. Gore, it is clear from the outset that the author has gone to great lengths to avoid any personal bias and present the reader with a balanced and facinating step-by-step critique of the personal and political workings of the State and Federal Supreme Courts. As I read this book, I found myself constantly challanged to reevaluate my view of the motivation behind the high courts acceptance of this case for review. Through historical analysis, and insight into the personal motivations of the nine justices, Professor Dershowitz deftly presents a logical case for his conclusion that the Courts involvement and ultimate decision was politically (and not judically) motivated. Any reader, no matter what your political beliefs may be, will find this work to be a masterful tutorial into the workings of our judicial system. Though I still firmly believe that election 2000 ended up at the correct destination, I must say that I am no longer certain that the road we took to get there was the right one. Thanks to my daughter for a delightful, challanging and memorable father's day gift.
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Format: Hardcover
Remember the names of Scalia, O'Connor, Kennedy, Rehnquist, and Thomas. Those are the justices who produced the worst Supreme Court decision in over 100 years. How many decades will it take to undo the damage to the Supreme Court's credibility that they caused with the nonsense decision and opinion in Bush versus Gore during the recounts in Florida? I don't know, but Professor Dershowitz should be commended for calling these justices on the carpet for injudicious use of their power.
As a lawyer, I used to feel comfortable with the Supreme Court's ability to handle important issues. Whether I agreed with the conclusion of the case or not, I could predict the line of argument that led the court to its decision. I also knew that the court would try to intervene as little as possible. The only time that comfort level was violated was when the second Supreme Court decision came in Bush versus Gore and included a stay of the recount in Florida. I was flabbergasted. This book helps me to understand how such a result could have occurred. Every attorney, lawmaker, and citizen who cares about having a government of fairly administered laws should read this book, and take appropriate action to see that whatever happened in Bush versus Gore in the Supreme Court does not recur.
Professor Dershowitz makes a bold claim that "the unprecedented decision of the five justices to substitute their political judgment for that of the people threatens to undermine the moral authority of the high court for generations to come." "I believe that they would not have stopped a hand recount if George W. Bush had been seeking it." "In this book, I marshal the evidence in support of this charge.
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By A Customer on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Am and have always been staunch Republican and usually...very conservative. Usually I am placed on the extreme right side of the bell curve. The 2000 election was alarming and hit me like a bug hits my windshield at high speed. I praise Dershowitz for his ideas. His words made me feel as if I were back in my graduate lecture hall in Political Science, "...I disagree with the professor's viewpoint, but listen to the lecture, take notes and know the info for the final exam..."!!!!
Something else happened. Mr. Dershowitz made me think about my political beliefs and I recognized that the separation of powers was jeopordized during past election. My vote was "messed with" by the Supreme Court. I realized that the Justices are humans and indeed do have political positions and allegiance. My vote was reconsidered by the Courts. Didn't we fight the American Revolution to avoid such impositions on voters? GREAT BOOK
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Format: Hardcover
I have been waiting for the book that would explain in detail just how corrupt and partisan Bush v. Gore really was, and this is it. I'm not a big Dershowitz fan, but he has actually performed a public service with this book. The juxtaposition between, for instance, the five conservative justices' votes on death penalty stays and on the stay in this case, will leave you scratching your head at how they define irreperable harm. Dershowitz calls for a change in the way we choose our justices and after reading SUPREME INJUSTICE I say let's do it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me first give credit where it is due. Professor Dershowitz seems to persuasively lay out the flaws with the analytical underpinnings of the majority decision by the Supreme Court. He points out how it is hard to reconcile with previous Supreme Court decisions and his overall analysis on the apparent weakness of the decision is well presented. Having said that, I felt that there were two major problems with the book, which include the fact that Dershowitz is not above engaging in a little intellectual dishonesty of his own.
The first problem relates to his analysis of whether or not the Florida Supreme Court, through its actions, had violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Indeed this is where Dershowitz breathes most of his fire. Dershowitz repeatedly informs us that there was no violation of the Equal Protection Clause by the Florida Supreme Court and that the wicked, villainous, biased, partisan "5-person majority" was wrong to conclude otherwise. Over and over again, he talks about the awful "5 justices" and he devotes a full chapter on the "inconsistency of the majority justices". Well there's one slight problem here. On the key issue of whether or not there was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause, there was not a 5-person majority, but a 7-person majority--a huge difference. Justices Souter and Breyer AGREED with the 5-person majority on this issue (The 5-person majority was on the issue of the remedy only, not whether or not the Florida Court had acted unconstitutionally.) However, to admit that almost the entire Court (and not just a bare majority) disagreed with his analysis would seriously undermine Dershowitz's entire argument, at least as to the bias and partisanship of the "5", so he basically sweeps that little fact under the rug.
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