January 29, 2008

Book Review - The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court: An Essential History
Peter Charles Hoffer, Williamjames Hull Hoffer, and N.E.H. Hull
KF 8742 .Z9 H64 2007

Hoffer, Hoffer, and Hull offer this historical analysis of the Supreme Court because they believe that each new interpretation of historical events offers new understanding of past events and shifts the emphasis to reflect the history that lead to contemporary controversies. This study divides the history of the Supreme Court into three phases: the Heroic Courts, the Classical Courts, and the Modern Courts. Within these era, chapters address groups of decisions made during the period of each Chief Justice. Particular attention is paid to those decisions that paved the path toward the issues that are important today, cases that referenced precedents set by earlier courts, and issues that called into question the intention of the constitution and its framers. Any or all of the cases referenced here could certainly fill up their own monograph, but the authors goal was to use these case studies to show the role of the Court in the American political system without oversimplifying its often obscure work.