Justices, Presidents, and Senators: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Bush II

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9780742558946: Justices, Presidents, and Senators: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Bush II
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Revised to include the last eight years of Supreme Court decisions and nominations, this updated classic is the most comprehensive and accessible history of the first 110 members of the U.S. Supreme Court ever written. Henry J. Abraham, one of the nation's preeminent scholars of the judicial branch, addresses the vital questions of why individual justices were nominated to the highest court, how their nominations were received by legislators of the day, whether the appointees ultimately lived up to the expectations of the American public, and the legacy of their jurisprudence on the development of American law and society. Abraham's insights into the history of the Supreme Court are unrivaled by other studies of the subject, and among his numerous observations is that fully one-fifth of its members were viewed as failures by the presidents who appointed them. Enhanced by photographs of every justice from 1789 to 2007, Abraham's eloquent writing and meticulous research guarantee that this book will interest both general readers and scholars.

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About the Author:

Henry J. Abraham, one of the country's most respected scholars of the U.S. Supreme Court, is James Hart Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia and the author of numerous works. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Review:

Dr. Abraham's up-to-date classic is THE DEFINITIVE book on Supreme Court appointments. No wonder it graces the shelves of the justices' libraries! All Court observers will relish its eloquent, insightful, vivid descriptions of judicial politics and history. (Barbara A. Perry)

Everyone agrees that the selection of Supreme Court justices is important, but there is far less agreement about how the selection process is run and whether it actually yields good justices. Henry Abraham's magisterial Justices, Presidents, and Senators has long supplied a stable point of reference in this stormy debate over how the high bench is staffed and how well its members do their jobs. His updated and revised survey of presidential motivations, senatorial maneuvering, and judicial performance is sweeping in its scope, surefooted in its analysis, and will shape scholarly debate and informed public discussion for years to come. (Keith J. Bybee)

I consult Justices, Presidents, and Senators on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Without question, it is the most balanced, the most accurate, and the most authoritative treatment of appointments to the Court. With this new edition, the inimitable Henry Abraham has pulled off what only he could do: improve on perfection. (Lee Epstein)

A definitive and fascinating study of the political history of Presidents appointing and the Senate confirming (or not) Supreme Court justices. (O'Brien, David M.)

Based on a meticulously constructed and engagingly written historical narrative, Professor Abraham offers keen observations on the justices of the Supreme Court, the presidents who nominated them, and the senators who confirmed them. Justices, Presidents, and Senators provides readers with unique insights into the politics of judicial selection as well as the success (or failure) of individual justices in putting their imprimatur on the Court's jurisprudence. The result is a book that students will love and scholars will wish they had written. (Martinek, Wendy L.)

Justices, Presidents. and Senators is the standard reference book for anyone interested in understanding how the selection of Supreme Court justices has evolved over the course of American history. The new edition of Professor Abraham's book does not disappoint. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his analytic framework, the core information Professor Abraham provides is essential for anyone interested in the politics of judicial selection including scholars, policy actors, and informed citizens. (Herbert Kritzer)

Justices, Presidents, and Senators is the rare classic that has remained a classic for almost a half century. Every student of constitutional law, politics, history, and development has read this book and looks forward to each new edition. (Mark Graber)

This book has long been the essential starting point for any informed citizen or student hoping to learn about Supreme Court appointments. It is full of lively details and thick with insights about the long history of the sometimes uneasy relationships between presidents, justices, and senators. (Whittington, Keith E.)

Henry Abraham illuminates the Supreme Court in a way that is accessible to legal academics, political scientists, and more general court watchers alike. His insights into the choices presidents made for their appointments to the bench are first rate, as is his analysis of the impact and success of those chosen to sit on the nation’s highest Court. For anyone seeking a comprehensive history of the Supreme Court, as well as of its nomination and confirmation process, Justices, Presidents, and Senators is a must read. (Timothy R. Johnson)

Henry Abraham's seminal work on US Supreme Court appointments is essential reading for anyone interested in the appointment of Supreme Court justices over the course of US history. Abraham's identification of criteria important in the appointment process has laid the groundwork for much of the continuing scholarship on judicial appointments. His historically rich discussion of the appointment of justices by Presidents from Washington to Bush will fascinate scholars and generally interested readers alike. (Christine L. Nemacheck)

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