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Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics

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The title of this update of the 2003 edition derives from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' comment that the US Supreme Court is a storm center of political controversy. In a balanced treatment of the Court's power and curbs on its power, O'Brien (government and foreign affairs, U. of Virginia) expands discussion of how changes in the Court's compos


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The title of this update of the 2003 edition derives from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' comment that the US Supreme Court is a storm center of political controversy. In a balanced treatment of the Court's power and curbs on its power, O'Brien (government and foreign affairs, U. of Virginia) expands discussion of how changes in the Court's compos

30 review for Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    PS course book. I was kind of dreading reading this book but actually it was pretty interesting. I enjoyed the discussions of the political motivations behind Supreme Court Justice appointments, as well as the discussion of the inner workings of the court (the "nine little law firms") and the surprising isolation of the Justices. The historical overview of the court was also engaging, and I enjoyed hearing about the styles of the Justices, even down to their preferred schools from which to selec PS course book. I was kind of dreading reading this book but actually it was pretty interesting. I enjoyed the discussions of the political motivations behind Supreme Court Justice appointments, as well as the discussion of the inner workings of the court (the "nine little law firms") and the surprising isolation of the Justices. The historical overview of the court was also engaging, and I enjoyed hearing about the styles of the Justices, even down to their preferred schools from which to select clerks. On the down side, it is clear that the intended audience isn't lawyers. I understand this, but I couldn't help but find it repetitive and many of the explanations quite basic. I got a little tired of hearing about the many clerks and their roles, and the last chapter seemed to be a retread of the whole book and entirely unnecessary. I would recommend it for non-lawyers. Those of us who have practiced law but want to know more about the inner workings of the court can just turn right to about 2-3 chapters that cover it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Great book for someone like me that does not have much of a background in how the Supreme Court actually functions. O'Brien's writing is mostly engaging and he covers a lot of material, including a quick and dirty history of the court, how the Justices interact, the process for deciding which cases to consider, how deliberations happen, and how the Court's staff has come to play an ever larger role in the Court's operations. For veteran observers of the Supreme Court, maybe much of this is common Great book for someone like me that does not have much of a background in how the Supreme Court actually functions. O'Brien's writing is mostly engaging and he covers a lot of material, including a quick and dirty history of the court, how the Justices interact, the process for deciding which cases to consider, how deliberations happen, and how the Court's staff has come to play an ever larger role in the Court's operations. For veteran observers of the Supreme Court, maybe much of this is common knowledge. But for me, these were issues I had not given much consideration to, and I felt I had a significantly expanded and deepened understanding of the mechanics of the Court once I had digested this information.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    Another classic used in my poli scie courses. It's pretty slow and long but it's invaluable info about the Supreme Court, it's structure, it's inner workings and day to day tasks, as well as important history. An interesting element it covers is SC Justice behavior and their interactions with their colleagues when making a decision.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jwmccabe1

    This book provides an interesting overview of the internal operations of the Supreme Court and chronicles the journey of the Court from its humble beginnings to its preeminent institutional standing of today.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Excellent book on the Supreme Court and its inner workings. For anyone, poli sci student, lawyer, or none of the above, this is an excellent read for learning more about our nation's Highest Court. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill Sleeman

    A solid introduction to the work and the world of the Court. Well organized, easy to read. Recommend for anyone who desires a better understanding of the day to day (and the long term impact) of the Supreme Court's decision making process.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is the third book Ive read on the Supreme Court this year, but still an informative and engaging book if you want to know more about this institution.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Required supplemental reading for my constitutional law class.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Very insightful and in-depth look on the Supreme Court of the United States and how it functions. Easy read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    J. Bleiker

    Freakish insight into what actually happens within the Supreme Court, and how much influence current social waves have on decisions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    H2

    excellent for anyone who is interested in the workings of the court.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Douglas

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Anthony

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric Thrond

  16. 5 out of 5

    Omar TreviƱo

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hamza Khan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Franklin

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gisselle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike Shelby

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kiran

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ian Bryant-Smith

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth Berry

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha LeSueur

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