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By analyzing the perspectives and influential decisions of individual justices on the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005), this volume reveals how a divided Supreme Court limited the scope of rights affecting criminal justice without fulfilling conservatives' goal of eliminating foundational concepts established during the Warren Court era. The era's generally conservative Supreme Court preserved rights in several contexts because individual justices do not necessarily view all constitutional rights issues through a simple, consistent philosophical lens.
First Published in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Thoughtful, wide-ranging, and intelligently written, this volume is an insightful look at the Rehnquist Court and its impact on law and American life.
In 1986, the Supreme Court's leading conservative, William H. Rehnquist, labeled by Newsweek as "The Court's Mr. Right," was made Chief Justice. Almost immediately, legal scholars, practitioners, and pundits began questioning what his influence would be, and whether he would remake our constitutional corpus in his own image. Would the center hold, or fold? This collected volume, edited by Martin H. Belsky, is the third in a series which includes The Warren Court and The Burger Court, both edited by Bernard Schwartz. It gathers together a distinguished group of scholars, journalists, judges, and practitioners to reflect on the fifteen-year impact of the Rehnquist Court. The work provides an overview of the Rehnquist Court's influence to date, examines in detail the seminal issues confronted by the Court, and places the Court in broad historical perspective. Subjects discussed include First Amendment rights and cyberspace, criminal justice reform, the Court's pattern of constitutional interpretation, the international impact of the Rehnquist Court, and the Supreme Court's increasing interaction with state constitutional law. A comprehensive look at the significant shifts in constitutional jurisprudence under Rehnquist's leadership, this volume illustrates how the Rehnquist Court has brought us almost full-circle from the judge-made revolution of the Warren Court. A must-have for all students of the Court and legal history, this book contains fascinating insights into one of the century's most controversial courts and a legacy still in the making.
The lawyers and legal commentators who contribute to We Dissent unanimously agree that during Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s nineteen-year tenure, the Supreme Court failed to adequately protect civil liberties and civil rights. This is evident in majority opinions written for numerous cases heard by the Rehnquist Court, and eight of those cases are re-examined here, with contributors offering dissents to the Court’s decisions. The Supreme Court opinions criticized in We Dissent suggest that the Rehnquist Court placed the interests of government above the people, and as the dissents in this book demonstrate, the Court strayed far from our constitutional ideals when it abandoned its commitment to the protection of the individual rights of Americans. Each chapter focuses on a different case—ranging from torture to search and seizure, and from racial profiling to the freedom of political expression—with contributors summarizing the case and the decision, and then offering their own dissent to the majority opinion. For some cases featured in the book, the Court’s majority decisions were unanimous, so readers can see here for the first time what a dissent might have looked like. In other cases, contributors offer alternative dissents to the minority opinion, thereby widening the scope of opposition to key civil liberties decision made by the Rehnquist Court. Taken together, the dissents in this unique book address the pressing issue of Constitutional protection of individual freedom, and present a vision of constitutional law in the United States that differs considerably from the recent jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court. Contributors: Michael Avery, Erwin Chemerinsky,Marjorie Cohn, Tracey Maclin, Eva Paterson, Jamin Raskin, David Rudovsky, Susan Kiyomi Serrano, and Abbe Smith.
Introduces the major accomplishments and controversies of the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005), placing it in historical context with the preceding Warren and Burger Courts and examining its legacy.
In this authoritative reckoning with the eighteen-year record of the Rehnquist Court, Georgetown law professor Mark Tushnet reveals how the decisions of nine deeply divided justices have left the future of the Court; and the nation; hanging in the balance. Many have assumed that the chasm on the Court has been between its liberals and its conservatives. In reality, the division was between those in tune with the modern post-Reagan Republican Party and those who, though considered to be in the Court's center, represent an older Republican tradition. As a result, the Court has modestly promoted the agenda of today's economic conservatives, but has regularly defeated the agenda of social issues conservatives; while paving the way for more radically conservative path in the future.

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