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The US Constitution and the Supreme Court

Kevin R. C. Gutzman
The list author says: "These books provide fascinating accounts of important aspects of Supreme Court history. Some are well known, while others are more obscure, but all repay a reading."
James Madison and the Making of America
James Madison and the Making of America
"James Madison led the way in bringing the Philadelphia Convention into being, took the leading role in writing the Constitution, led the interstate campaign to ratify it, served as George Washington's "prime minister" in the Federal Government's first months, and insisted Congress recommend the Bill of Rights for ratification."
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution (Politically Incorrect Guides)
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution (Politically Incorrect Guides)
"This is a 1780s Virginia Federalist (not to be confused with the standard 1790s Virginia Federalist) account of American federal constitutional history.  We are a long way from the Constitution that the people ratified in the 1780s, and the Supreme Court is the leading culprit.  Here is an explanation."
Government by Judiciary (Studies in Jurisprudence and Legal Hist)
Government by Judiciary (Studies in Jurisprudence and Legal Hist)
"In this book, Harvard's late Raoul Berger -- a one-time New Deal lawyer -- recounts the process by which federal judges remade American federalism on the basis of a bogus misconstruction of the Fourteenth Amendment.  What he describes comes close to a coup d'etat in favor of federal judges and against elected legislators."
Disaster by Decree: The Supreme Court Decisions on Race and the Schools
Disaster by Decree: The Supreme Court Decisions on Race and the Schools
"Here is a blistering account of the Supreme Court's most divisive line of cases of the 20th century."
The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court
The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court
"There has never been a finer insider account of the Supreme Court than this mid-'70s classic.  Who can forget Justice Brennan's description of his 'Rule of Five' -- that with five votes, he could do anything?  Essential reading."
Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush
Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush
"20th-century prohibitionists believed that they needed a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol; by that century's end, no one thought a constitutional amendment was needed before the federal government could assume control of the entire health-care sector of the economy.  What changed in between was the death of the idea of constitutional limitations on federal power."
New Views of the Constitution
New Views of the Constitution
"This book by Thomas Jefferson's favorite constitutional thinker corrects the Marshall Court's misrepresentations of the Constitution and vindicates the truth about the Philadelphia Convention and the ratification process.  A must!"
From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality
From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality
"Here we have a scholarly account of the most significant Supreme Court decision of the 20th century and its effects.  This book is significant as much for what it doesn't intend to say, but says anyway, as for what it says on purpose.  Very interesting."
The Constitution Besieged: The Rise & Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence
The Constitution Besieged: The Rise & Demise of Lochner Era Police Powers Jurisprudence
"Gillman provides a fascinatingly non-adversarial account of the right-wing activism of the early 20th-century Supreme Court.  To paraphrase Pete Townshend, the old boss (a laissez-faire Court majority) was indeed much like the current one (which allows Congress and state legislators alike to legislate in almost any way they want)."
Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution
Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution
"For decades, Supreme Court justices have been prone to substitute their own amateur philosophizing for the Constitution the people ratified in 1788.  This lame little book by a current justice illustrates the tendency."
Separation of Church and State
Separation of Church and State
"Prof. Hamburger (U. of Chicago School of Law) here explains how we came to have today's church-state jurisprudence, and what relationship it bears to the people's intentions in ratifying the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  Fascinating!"
The Slaughterhouse Cases: Regulation, Reconstruction, and the Fourteenth Amendment Abridged Edition (Landmark Law Cases and American Society)
The Slaughterhouse Cases: Regulation, Reconstruction, and the Fourteenth Amendment Abridged Edition (Landmark Law Cases and American Society)
"This is the best study of a single case ever written.  The scientific, political, social, and economic context of the cases is presented in very clear, captivating detail, and the analysis of the courts' work is first-rate.  A superb book!"
The Constitution and the New Deal
The Constitution and the New Deal
"This is a fabulous revision of the received wisdom on what happened to the Constitution in 1937.  It will change your understanding forever."
The Tempting of America
The Tempting of America
"Here we have a partisan memoir from the figure at the center of the most controversial Supreme Court nomination of the twentieth century.  Both Bork's take on law and his personality come through with great clarity.  This book is essential reading for anyone who would understand the last 40 years of nomination-related politics."
FORTAS: The Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice
FORTAS: The Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice
"This is an outstanding portrait of one of America's mid-twentieth-century legal eminences.  Here we see his Machiavellian rise -- and Greek tragic fall.  Along the way, there's a lot of info. about the political corruption (and judicial politics) of which he was a part.  Outstanding!"