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political science

The Supreme Court: A C-SPAN Book, Featuring the Justices in their Own Words

Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, Mark Farkas, eds.
Publisher PublicAffairs  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
ISBN 9781586488352
Pages/Publication Date 381/2010
Daedalus Item Code 32996
This item is not available.
This outstanding portrait of the Supreme Court—its current members, its traditions, and its day-to-day workings—grew out of an unprecedented opportunity for C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb and president Susan Swain to interview all nine sitting justices and retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor for a documentary on the Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor reflects on her first impressions of the job and the acclimation process, Justice Breyer takes us behind the scenes on a private tour of his chambers as he describes how the court works, and Chief Justice Roberts talks about the role of the court in society, the role of the chief justice, and the process of deciding cases. Journalists Joan Biskupic and Lyle Denniston talk about the process that unfolds in the court, clerk William Suter provides insights into court traditions, historian Jim O'Hara discusses the Supreme Court building and its history, and two attorneys who have argued numerous cases in front of the bench tell readers what it's like facing the justices in fast-paced oral arguments.

"C-SPAN set out to do a documentary on the history of the stately Supreme Court building when a confluence of circumstances turned the project into a collection of interviews with the then-sitting jurists, as well as retired associate justice Sandra Day O'Connor and recently seated justice Sonia Sotomayor. To get such broad access to this group of famously media-shy figures was a major coup. Part 1 of this book presents personal interviews with the justices, offering a human touch as well as a look at the internal workings of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts shares nuanced perspective on the justices' functions and duties, Justice Stephen Breyer offers a tour of his chambers, Justice Sotomayor reflects on her adjustment process, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stresses the collegiality among jurists, notwithstanding many 5–4 decisions. Part 2 features interviews with Supreme Court experts, including journalist and biographer Joan Biskupic and former solicitor general Drew Days III. Part 3 includes supplementary material of reference value to readers interested in the Supreme Court. The total package is a fascinating look."—Booklist

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