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A few years ago I started reading the biographies of Supreme Court Justices. I found their stories and that of the Court fascinating. Since then I have been reading about the Supreme Court and want to know more about the law. I found this book absolutely captivating; but I am sure the readers with law degrees will already know the material and if one is not interested they might be bored.
Melvin Urofsky traced the history of dissents from the founding era to the present. The author attempts to determine what value can be found in dissenting opinions. Urofsky states that dissents are an essential part of the “constitutional dialogue,” the device by which our nation has adapted to the changing times.
Urofsky reviews not only the Supreme Court but various State Supreme Courts and some foreign courts particularly France as it compares to the United States. The author also spends some time comparing the difference between the Supreme Court of Canada to that of the United States. Urofsky discusses in detail some of the famous dissents and some history of the Justices who wrote them. Some of the people he covers are John Marshall, Louis Brandeis, John Marshall Harlan, Hugo Black, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Felix Frankfurter. Urofsky does provide a brief historical overview of the Court.
The book is elegantly written and meticulously researched. The author provided a balance between the people and the issues which helped maintain interest. I found the discussion about how various countries consider their laws most interesting. Urofsky is a law professor and historian; I have read a number of his books with great enjoyment.
Dan Woren does an excellent job narrating the book. Woren is an actor and voice over actor who is a well-known narrator of audiobooks.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I liked this book because the subject is critical to understand our current situation. Fill in your own blank for "current situation". What made it even better is that I couldn't tell which side ( liberal or conservative) the professor took until the very last chapter, which unfortunately is unusual for law professors who write books.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful