Injustices: the Supreme Court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted

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2015
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Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In the Warren era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren't for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way. In Injustices , Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people's elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.
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9781568585697
9781568584577
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Grouped Work ID 55d5d517-8043-e197-c7ca-c1e36e464b90
Grouping Title injustices the supreme courts history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted
Grouping Author millhiser ian
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-10-22 22:53:45PM
Last Indexed 2019-10-23 00:22:17AM

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author Ian Millhiser
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display_description "Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of everyday people who have suffered the most as a result of its judgements. The justices built a nation where children toiled in coal mines and cotton mills, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where women were sterilized at the command of states. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights, its willingness to place elections for sale, and its growing skepticism towards the democratic process generally. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent 30 years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next 40 years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. Similarly, the recent, nearly successful legal attack on Obamacare was in the spirit of early twentieth century decisions like Lochner v. New York and Hammer v. Dagenhart that treated the American people's right to govern themselves with great skepticism. Recently, cases like Citizens United allowed rivers of money to flood our democracy; and Shelby County tore out the heart of American voting rights law. These cases are hardly anomalies; they fit a pattern of justices placing powerful interests above the welfare of the general public. In the Warren Era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But this era, Millhiser contends, was an historic accident. Indeed, if it wasn't for a several unpredictable events-such as a former Ku Klux Klansman's decision to become a passionate supporter of racial justice, or a fatal heart attack that killed the Chief Justice of the United States-Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way. In this book, Millhiser argues the Supreme Court does not deserve the respect it commands. To the contrary, it routinely bent the arc of American history away from justice"-- "Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of everyday people who have suffered the most as a result of its judgements. The justices built a nation where children toiled in coal mines and cotton mills, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where women were sterilized at the command of states. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights, its willingness to place elections for sale, and its growing skepticism towards the democratic process generally. In this book, Millhiser argues the Supreme Court does not deserve the respect it commands. To the contrary, it routinely bent the arc of American history away from justice"--
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subject_facet HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
LAW / Government / Federal
Law -- Economic aspects -- United States. -- History
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Judicial Branch
Political questions and judicial power -- United States. -- History
Social justice -- United States. -- History
United States. -- Supreme Court -- History
title_display Injustices : the Supreme Court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted
title_full Injustices : the Supreme Court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted / Ian Millhiser
Injustices The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted
title_short Injustices :
title_sub the Supreme Court's history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted
topic_facet Economic aspects
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
History
LAW / Government / Federal
Law
Nonfiction
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Judicial Branch
Political questions and judicial power
Politics
Social justice