The great justices, 1941-54 [electronic resource] : Black, Douglas, Frankfurter & Jackson in chambers /
William Domnarski.
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2006.
xiii, 206 p.
0472115367 (cloth : alk. paper)
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Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2006.
0472115367 (cloth : alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
The tragic figure of Robert Jackson -- Felix Frankfurter and arrogance rewarded -- Hugo Black and the perils of literalism -- William O. Douglas : judging and being judged.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 195-201) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-07-01:
Domnarski, a practicing attorney and astute student of judicial behavior, has analyzed a slice of Supreme Court history (1941-54) as seen through the official opinions, formal and informal writings, and public speeches of four associate justices: Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, Hugo Black, and William Douglas. The author describes them as judicial giants who dominated the Court. The book presents profiles of each justice, plus a summary essay. Although the study presents no new information, it is written with insight and wisdom and stylistically holds the reader's attention. A few examples convey the flavor of the book. Jackson is described as having failed in his relationships with his brethren, a failure that led to a contrarian jurisprudence. Frankfurter was an extremely arrogant man who believed that he alone was suited to do the Court's work. Black ended up animating a conservatism of his own that was fundamentally at odds with New Deal liberalism, while Douglas was a multidimensional maverick of a sort never seen before or since on the Court. Unfortunately, they fit the characterization of "scorpions in a bottle." Recommended reading for all who would better understand the human dimension of judges and judging. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, lower-division undergraduates through graduate students. R. J. Steamer emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Boston
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Choice, July 2006
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Main Description
The Great Justicesoffers a revealing glimpse of a judicial universe in which titanic egos often clash, and comes as close as any book ever has to getting inside the minds of Supreme Court jurists. This is rare and little-examined territory: in the public consciousness the Supreme Court is usually seen as an establishment whose main actors, the justices, remain above emotion, vitriol, and gossip, the better to interpret our nation of laws. Yet the Court's work is always an interchange of ideas and individuals, and the men and women who make up the Court, despite or because of their best intentions, are as human as the rest of us. Appreciating that human dimension helps us to discover some of the Court's secrets, and a new way to understand the Court and its role. Comparing four brilliant but very different jurists of the Roosevelt Court-Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson-William Domnarski paints a startling picture of the often deeply ambiguous relationship between ideas and reality, between the law and the justices who interpret and create it. By pulling aside the veil of decorous tradition, Domnarski brings to light the personalities that shaped one of the greatest Courts of our time-one whose decisions continue to affect judicial thinking today. William Domnarski is the author of In the Opinion of the Court(1996), a study of the history and nature of federal court judicial opinions. He holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California. Domnarski currently practices law in California, where he is also working on a forthcoming biography of legendary Hollywood lawyer Bert Fields.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Tragic Figure of Robert Jacksonp. 19
Felix Frankfurter and Arrogance Rewardedp. 61
Hugo Black and the Perils of Literalismp. 99
William O. Douglas: Judging and Being Judgedp. 129
Conclusionp. 165
Appendixp. 169
Notesp. 175
Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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