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Lower Fairfield County's online book club

The Supreme Court lag

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As Chris pointed out in his first post about “The Nine” by Jeffrey Toobin, the battle over the Supreme Court has been framed by a for the last three decades by an ideological debate between those who believe the framer’s intentions in drafting the Constitution should be strictly interpreted and those who believe the Constitution […] [Read More]

A postscript on ‘The Nine’

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Monica, I was also surprised to learn that the Supreme Court does not always function as we think it would or should. For example, I was very surprised to read that at no time after hearing the attorneys’ arguments do the justices meet all together in conference to discuss the legal issues. I would have […] [Read More]
Categories: Book club choice, Legal

Office politics among the nine

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One of the most surprising discoveries for readers of Toobin’s book is that Supreme Court justices are subject to the vagaries of office politics and annoyances. Apparently, former Chief Justice Warren Burger was disorganized and, frankly, not always so good at being a chief justice. Discussions meandered aimlessly and ended inconclusively. Justices sometimes thought that […] [Read More]

Hearings and judicial activism

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I think Chris’ summary of the main issue presented in this book is very insightful.  The Supreme Court has become the battlefield for the ideological battles being fought between factions — the Democrats and Republicans, the liberals and the conservatives, those who want religion in public places and those who think religion has no place there, […] [Read More]
Categories: Book club choice, Legal

Confirmations and WWSD*

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Buried within the ideological debate that Toobin sets up, as Chris points out, in the first 100 pages or so of “The Nine,” are little tidbits that hint at the way confirmation hearings have changed. I imagine it was frustrating for anyone of any political stripe to pay too much attention to the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia […] [Read More]

Looking at the high court from a legal point of view

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As an attorney who has practiced during the Rehnquist and now the Roberts era – where 5 to 4 decisions are a common occurrence — I hold my breath each time an important decision comes down from the Supreme Court because of the enormous impact these decisions have on our lives. Two examples close to […] [Read More]
Categories: Book club choice, Legal

Toobin, O.J. and the New Yorker

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A few months ago I attended a talk by Tina Brown, part of a magazine journalism lecture series at Columbia University, where she mostly talked about her newest venture, The Daily Beast. Brown is most famous for her stints as editor at Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, where she helped launch the careers of […] [Read More]

RBG’s place in the nine

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What’s most interesting to me about “The Nine” — and the primary reason I’ve wanted to read it — is that it reveals the amazing and eccentric characters our Supreme Court is made of. Perhaps none more so that David Souter, the retiring justice whose seat Judge Sonia Sotomayor hopes to fill once he retreats […] [Read More]
Categories: Book club choice, Legal

‘The Nine’ of the Supreme Court

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For our second book selection, we’ll be reading “The Nine”, Jeffrey Toobin’s inside look at the tail end of the Rehnquist court (no, not the short-lived series on ABC.) All of this is just in time to talk about what role Judge Sonia Sotormayor hopes to play on the court she might join. Not whether […] [Read More]
Categories: Book club choice, Legal