The Supreme Court

How has the U.S. Supreme Court evolved over the years? These books explore the history of the Supreme Court and some of its landmark cases.

Related event:
Bob Levy discusses The Dirty Dozen, Oct. 13, 2009

The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom
By Robert A. Levy and William Mellor
Taking on 12 Supreme Court cases that have changed American history, Levy and Mellor untangle complex Court opinions to explain how they have harmed ordinary Americans.

Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court
By James MacGregor Burns
From political theorist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Burns comes a critique of how an unstable, unaccountable, and frequently partisan Supreme Court has come to wield more power than the founding fathers ever intended.

Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court
By Jan Crawford Greenburg
Drawing on unprecedented access to the Supreme Court justices and their inner circles, ABC News legal correspondent Greenburg offers an account of one of the most momentous political watersheds in recent American history. From the series of Republican nominations that proved deeply frustrating to conservatives to the decades of bruising battles that led to the rise of Justices Roberts and Alito, this is the story of the conservative effort to shift the direction of the high court.

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights book jacket

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality
By Michael J. Klarman
An investigation of the Supreme Court's rulings on race, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights spells out in compelling detail the political and social context within which the Supreme Court Justices operate and the consequences of their decisions for American race relations.

The Next 25 Years: The New Supreme Court and What It Means for Americans
By Martin Garbus
Drawing upon extensive knowledge of Constitutional law and legal precedents, Garbus presents a clear-eyed account of how the coming Supreme Court may imperil the "living constitution" and endanger the liberties of a generation.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
By Jeffrey Toobin
This New York Times Best Book of the Year takes readers into the chambers of the most important--and secret--legal body in the country, the Supreme Court, and reveals the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land.

The Supreme Court book jacket

The Supreme Court: An Essential History
By Peter Charles Hoffer, Williamjames Hull Hoffer, and N.E.H. Hull
For more than two centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court has provided a battleground for nearly every controversial issue in our nation’s history. This veteran team of talented historians has produced a readable, astute, and up-to-date single-volume history of this venerated institution.

The Supreme Court
By William H. Rehnquist
Written while he was Chief Justice, William H. Rehnquist's book offers a lively and accessible history of the Supreme Court. His engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall's dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Rehnquist reveals its inner workings – the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place.

The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court
By Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong
Published in 1979, The Brethren is a detailed behind-the-scenes account of the Supreme Court in action. Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong provided an unprecedented view of the Chief and Associate Justices – maneuvering, arguing, politicking, compromising and making decisions that affect every major area of American life.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.