Engines of Liberty

The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law

Author: David Cole

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465098517

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 3095

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From the national legal director of the ACLU, an essential guidebook for anyone seeking to stand up for fundamental civil liberties and rights One of Washington Post's Notable Nonfiction Books of 2016 In an age of executive overreach, what role do American citizens have in safeguarding our Constitution and defending liberty? Must we rely on the federal courts, and the Supreme Court above all, to protect our rights? In Engines of Liberty, the esteemed legal scholar David Cole argues that we all have a part to play in the grand civic dramas of our era--and in a revised introduction and conclusion, he proposes specific tactics for fighting Donald Trump's policies. Examining the most successful rights movements of the last thirty years, Cole reveals how groups of ordinary Americans confronting long odds have managed, time and time again, to convince the courts to grant new rights and protect existing ones. Engines of Liberty is a fundamentally new explanation of how our Constitution works and the part citizens play in it.

Engines of Liberty

The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law

Author: David Cole

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0465060900

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 2595

Release On


Engines of Liberty

The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law

Author: David Cole

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465098517

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 3745

Release On

From the national legal director of the ACLU, an essential guidebook for anyone seeking to stand up for fundamental civil liberties and rights One of Washington Post's Notable Nonfiction Books of 2016 In an age of executive overreach, what role do American citizens have in safeguarding our Constitution and defending liberty? Must we rely on the federal courts, and the Supreme Court above all, to protect our rights? In Engines of Liberty, the esteemed legal scholar David Cole argues that we all have a part to play in the grand civic dramas of our era--and in a revised introduction and conclusion, he proposes specific tactics for fighting Donald Trump's policies. Examining the most successful rights movements of the last thirty years, Cole reveals how groups of ordinary Americans confronting long odds have managed, time and time again, to convince the courts to grant new rights and protect existing ones. Engines of Liberty is a fundamentally new explanation of how our Constitution works and the part citizens play in it.

The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform

Author: Andrew Koppelman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199970041

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 9488

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Chief Justice John Roberts stunned the nation by upholding the Affordable Care Act--more commonly known as Obamacare. But legal experts observed that the decision might prove a strategic defeat for progressives. Roberts grounded his decision on Congress's power to tax. He dismissed the claim that it is allowed under the Constitution's commerce clause, which has been the basis of virtually all federal regulation--now thrown in doubt. In The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform, Andrew Koppelman explains how the Court's conservatives embraced the arguments of a fringe libertarian legal movement bent on eviscerating the modern social welfare state. They instead advocate what Koppelman calls a "tough luck" philosophy: if you fall on hard times, too bad for you. He argues that the rule they proposed--that the government can't make citizens buy things--has nothing to do with the Constitution, and that it is in fact useless to stop real abuses of power, as it was tailor-made to block this one law after its opponents had lost in the legislature. He goes on to dismantle the high court's construction of the commerce clause, arguing that it almost crippled America's ability to reverse rising health-care costs and shrinking access. Koppelman also places the Affordable Care Act within a broader historical context. The Constitution was written to increase central power, he notes, after the failure of the Articles of Confederation. The Supreme Court's previous limitations on Congressional power have proved unfortunate: it has struck down anti-lynching laws, civil-rights protections, and declared that child-labor laws would end "all freedom of commerce, and . . . our system of government [would] be practically destroyed." Both somehow survived after the court revisited these precedents. Koppelman notes that the arguments used against Obamacare are radically new--not based on established constitutional principles. Ranging from early constitutional history to potential consequences, this is the definitive postmortem of this landmark case.

Rules for Resistance

Advice from Around the Globe for the Age of Trump

Author: David Cole,Melanie Wachtell Stinnett

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1620973553

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 9565

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Some of us have been here before. Many people living today in America and around the world have direct experience with countries where an autocrat has seized control. Others have seen charismatic, populist leaders come to power within democracies and dramatically change the rules of the road for the public, activists, and journalists alike. In Rules for Resistance, writers from Russia, Turkey, India, Hungary, Chile, China, Canada, Italy, and elsewhere tell Americans what to expect under our own new regime, and give us guidance for living—and for resisting—in the Trump era. Advice includes being on the watch for the prosecution of political opponents, the use of libel laws to attack critics, the gutting of non-partisan institutions, and the selective application of the law. A special section on the challenges for journalists reporting on and under a leader like Donald Trump addresses issues of free speech, the importance of press protections, and the critical role of investigative journalists in an increasingly closed society. An introduction by ACLU legal director David Cole looks at the crucial role institutions have in preserving democracy and resisting autocracy. A chilling but necessary collection, Rules for Resistance distills the collective knowledge and wisdom of those who “have seen this video before.”

The Odd Clauses

Understanding the Constitution Through Ten of Its Most Curious Provisions

Author: Jay Wexler

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 0807000892

Category: Law

Page: 222

View: 5175

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"An innovative, insightful, and often humorous look at the Constitution's lesser-known clauses, offering a fresh approach to understanding our democracy. In this captivating and witty book, Jay Wexler draws on his extensive background in constitutional law to shine a much-deserved light on some of the Constitution's lesser-known parts. For a variety of reasons, many of the Constitution's "odd clauses" never make it to any court, and therefore never make headlines or even law school classrooms that teach from judicial decisions. Wexler delves into many of those more obscure passages, which he uses to illuminate the essence of our democratic process, including our tripartite government; the principles of equality, liberty, and privacy; and the integrity of our democracy"--

Property Outlaws

How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership

Author: Eduardo M. Penalver,Sonia Katyal

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300161239

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 7394

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Property Outlaws puts forth the intriguingly counterintuitive proposition that, in the case of both tangible and intellectual property law, disobedience can often lead to an improvement in legal regulation. The authors argue that in property law there is a tension between the competing demands of stability and dynamism, but its tendency is to become static and fall out of step with the needs of society. The authors employ wide-ranging examples of the behaviors of “property outlaws”—the trespasser, squatter, pirate, or file-sharer—to show how specific behaviors have induced legal innovation. They also delineate the similarities between the actions of property outlaws in the spheres of tangible and intellectual property. An important conclusion of the book is that a dynamic between the activities of “property outlaws” and legal innovation should be cultivated in order to maintain this avenue of legal reform.

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Author: Adam Winkler

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 0871403846

Category: Law

Page: 384

View: 3118

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We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history. We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution—and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided in 1809, a half-century before the first comparable cases on the rights of African Americans or women. Ever since, corporations have waged a persistent and remarkably fruitful campaign to win an ever-greater share of individual rights. Although corporations never marched on Washington, they employed many of the same strategies of more familiar civil rights struggles: civil disobedience, test cases, and novel legal claims made in a purposeful effort to reshape the law. Indeed, corporations have often been unheralded innovators in constitutional law, and several of the individual rights Americans hold most dear were first secured in lawsuits brought by businesses. Winkler enlivens his narrative with a flair for storytelling and a colorful cast of characters: among others, Daniel Webster, America’s greatest advocate, who argued some of the earliest corporate rights cases on behalf of his business clients; Roger Taney, the reviled Chief Justice, who surprisingly fought to limit protections for corporations—in part to protect slavery; and Roscoe Conkling, a renowned politician who deceived the Supreme Court in a brazen effort to win for corporations the rights added to the Constitution for the freed slaves. Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, Ralph Nader, Louis Brandeis, and even Thurgood Marshall all played starring roles in the story of the corporate rights movement. In this heated political age, nothing can be timelier than Winkler’s tour de force, which shows how America’s most powerful corporations won our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a weapon to impede the regulation of big business.

Lawyers' Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice

A Critical Reader

Author: Susan D. Carle

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814772749

Category: Law

Page: 425

View: 1555

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Legal ethics should be far more than a set of rules on professional responsibility; they can serve as a means for changing power relations, empowering the disenfranchised, and advocating progressive social change. Lawyers’ Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice broadens the discussion on legal ethics by first introducing the historical and theoretical background and then connecting it to real world issues while addressing lawyers' ethical obligations to work for social justice. The reader features differing critical approaches and opens up new avenues of ethical debate. While the literature included is diverse and interdisciplinary, it shares a vision of legal ethical inquiry as a means for changing power relations, empowering the disenfranchised, and advocating progressive social change. Through a combination of provocative selections, lively writing, concrete examples of cases and social movements, and incisive editorial commentary, Lawyers ’Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice defines the emergence of an exciting new field of critical legal ethics scholarship.

Engines of Liberty

How Citizen Movements Succeed

Author: David Cole

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9781541616578

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 6768

Release On

From the national legal director of the ACLU, an essential guidebook for anyone seeking to stand up for fundamental civil liberties and rights One of Washington Post's Notable Nonfiction Books of 2016 In an age of executive overreach, what role do American citizens have in safeguarding our Constitution and defending liberty? Must we rely on the federal courts, and the Supreme Court above all, to protect our rights? In Engines of Liberty, the esteemed legal scholar David Cole argues that we all have a part to play in the grand civic dramas of our era--and in a revised introduction and conclusion, he proposes specific tactics for fighting Donald Trump's policies. Examining the most successful rights movements of the last thirty years, Cole reveals how groups of ordinary Americans confronting long odds have managed, time and time again, to convince the courts to grant new rights and protect existing ones. Engines of Liberty is a fundamentally new explanation of how our Constitution works and the part citizens play in it.

Six Amendments

How and Why We Should Change the Constitution

Author: John Paul Stevens

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316373745

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 7577

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For the first time ever, a retired Supreme Court Justice offers a manifesto on how the Constitution needs to change. By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. SIX AMENDMENTS is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens. Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens's own Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, SIX AMENDMENTS is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.

Love Unites Us

Winning the Freedom to Marry in America

Author: Kevin Cathcart,Leslie Gabel-Brett

Publisher: New Press, The

ISBN: 1620971771

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 3857

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Victory may sometimes look like a sudden revolution when, in truth, it rests on years of struggle. The June 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a sweeping victory for the freedom to marry, but it was one step in a long process. Love Unites Us is the history of activists’ passion and persistence in the struggle for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the United States, told in the words of those who waged the battle. Launching the fight for the freedom to marry was neither an obvious nor an uncontested strategy. To many activists, achieving marriage equality seemed far-fetched, but the skeptics were proved wrong. Proactive arguments in favor of love, family, and commitment were more effective than arguments that focused on rights and the goal of equality at work. Telling the stories of people who loved and cared for one another, in sickness and in health, cut through the antigay noise and moved people—not without backlash and not overnight, but faster than most activists and observers had ever imagined. With compelling stories from leading attorneys and activists including Evan Wolfson, Mary L. Bonauto, Jon W. Davidson, and Paul M. Smith, Love Unites Us explains how gay and lesbian couples achieved the right to marry.

Exploring Judicial Politics

Author: N.A

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 3987

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This volume presents 20 original essays by political scientists and other judicial scholars on a variety of topics relative to the broad area of judicial politics. One theme of these essays is to explore the ways in which law and politics intertwine in the United States. Secondly, the essays provide insights into how scholars go about studying various judicial politics subjects such as the role of judges, lawyers, and juries in our political system. The essays explore issues at the trialcourt level, at the intermediate appellate court level, and at the U.S. Supreme Court. The essays look at the role of judges, juries, lawyers, interest groups, and other actors in the American legal system. Some of the essays look at the issues of judicial selection, while others look at how what we learn about the courts in the U.S. can help us better understand courts in other countries. Taken together, the essays reveal the broad range of issues that students of judicial politics will wantto understand in order to appreciate the role of courts in our society.

Closing the Courthouse Door

How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable

Author: Erwin Chemerinsky

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300224907

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 2832

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A leading legal scholar explores how the constitutional right to seek justice has been restricted by the Supreme Court The Supreme Court s decisions on constitutional rights are well known and much talked about. But individuals who want to defend those rights need something else as well: access to courts that can rule on their complaints. And on matters of access, the Court s record over the past generation has been almost uniformly hostile to the enforcement of individual citizens constitutional rights. The Court has restricted who has standing to sue, expanded the immunity of governments and government workers, limited the kinds of cases the federal courts can hear, and restricted the right of habeas corpus. Closing the Courthouse Door, by the distinguished legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, is the first book to show the effect of these decisions: taken together, they add up to a growing limitation on citizens ability to defend their rights under the Constitution. Using many stories of people whose rights have been trampled yet who had no legal recourse, Chemerinsky argues that enforcing the Constitution should be the federal courts primary purpose, and they should not be barred from considering any constitutional question.

Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century

Author: Geoffrey R. Stone

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631493655

Category: Law

Page: 704

View: 4007

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There has never been a book like Sex and the Constitution, a one-volume history that chapter after chapter overturns popular shibboleths, while dramatically narrating the epic story of how sex came to be legislated in America. Beginning his volume in the ancient and medieval worlds, Geoffrey R. Stone demonstrates how the Founding Fathers, deeply influenced by their philosophical forebears, saw traditional Christianity as an impediment to the pursuit of happiness and to the quest for human progress. Acutely aware of the need to separate politics from the divisive forces of religion, the Founding Fathers crafted a constitution that expressed the fundamental values of the Enlightenment. Although the Second Great Awakening later came to define America through the lens of evangelical Christianity, nineteenth-century Americans continued to view sex as a matter of private concern, so much so that sexual expression and information about contraception circulated freely, abortions before “quickening” remained legal, and prosecutions for sodomy were almost nonexistent. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reversed such tolerance, however, as charismatic spiritual leaders and barnstorming politicians rejected the values of our nation’s founders. Spurred on by Anthony Comstock, America’s most feared enforcer of morality, new laws were enacted banning pornography, contraception, and abortion, with Comstock proposing that the word “unclean” be branded on the foreheads of homosexuals. Women increasingly lost control of their bodies, and birth control advocates, like Margaret Sanger, were imprisoned for advocating their beliefs. In this new world, abortions were for the first time relegated to dank and dangerous back rooms. The twentieth century gradually saw the emergence of bitter divisions over issues of sexual “morality” and sexual freedom. Fiercely determined organizations and individuals on both the right and the left wrestled in the domains of politics, religion, public opinion, and the courts to win over the soul of the nation. With its stirring portrayals of Supreme Court justices, Sex and the Constitution reads like a dramatic gazette of the critical cases they decided, ranging from Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), to Roe v. Wade (abortion), to Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage), with Stone providing vivid historical context to the decisions that have come to define who we are as a nation. Now, though, after the 2016 presidential election, we seem to have taken a huge step backward, with the progress of the last half century suddenly imperiled. No one can predict the extent to which constitutional decisions safeguarding our personal freedoms might soon be eroded, but Sex and the Constitution is more vital now than ever before.

The Age of Deference

The Supreme Court, National Security, and the Constitutional Order

Author: David Rudenstine

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199381488

Category: Military law

Page: 344

View: 5942

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In October 1948-one year after the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate military branch-a B-29 Superfortress crashed on a test run, killing the plane's crew. The plane was constructed with poor materials, and the families of the dead sued the U.S. government for damages. In the case, the government claimed that releasing information relating to the crash would reveal important state secrets, and refused to hand over the requested documents. Judges at both the U.S. District Court level and Circuit level rejected the government's argument and ruled in favor of the families. However, in 1953, the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts' decisions and ruled that in the realm of national security, the executive branch had a right to withhold information from the public. Judicial deference to the executive on national security matters has increased ever since the issuance of that landmark decision. Today, the government's ability to invoke state secrets privileges goes unquestioned by a largely supine judicial branch. David Rudenstine's The Age of Deference traces the Court's role in the rise of judicial deference to executive power since the end of World War II. He shows how in case after case, going back to the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies, the Court has ceded authority in national security matters to the executive branch. Since 9/11, the executive faces even less oversight. According to Rudenstine, this has had a negative impact both on individual rights and on our ability to check executive authority when necessary. Judges are mindful of the limits of their competence in national security matters; this, combined with their insulation from political accountability, has caused them in matters as important as the nation's security to defer to the executive. Judges are also afraid of being responsible for a decision that puts the nation at risk and the consequences for the judiciary in the wake of such a decision. Nonetheless, The Age of Deference argues that as important as these considerations are in shaping a judicial disposition, the Supreme Court has leaned too far, too often, and for too long in the direction of abdication. There is a broad spectrum separating judicial abdication, at one end, from judicial usurpation, at the other, and The Age of Deference argues that the rule of law compels the court to re-define its perspective and the legal doctrines central to the Age.

The Fight to Vote

Author: Michael Waldman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501116509

Category: Political Science

Page: 384

View: 2741

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“An important new book” (The Washington Post) on the long struggle to win voting rights for all citizens by the author of The Second Amendment: A Biography and president of The Brennan Center, a legal think tank at NYU. Michael Waldman’s The Second Amendment traced the ongoing argument on gun rights from The Bill of Rights to now. In this “timely contribution to the discussion of a crucial issue” (Kirkus Reviews), Waldman takes a succinct and comprehensive look at an even more crucial struggle: the past and present effort to define and defend government based on “the consent of the governed.” From the writing of the Constitution, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought the right, others have fought to stop them. This is the first book to trace the entire story from the Founders’ debates to today’s restrictions: gerrymandering; voter ID laws; the flood of money unleashed by conservative nonprofit organizations; making voting difficult to the elderly, the poor, and the young, by restricting open polling places. Waldman describes the precedents for these contemporary arguments. The fight, sometimes vicious, has always been at the center of American politics: from counting slaves but not permitting them to vote, to property-less males, then to free Blacks, women, eighteen-year-olds, and the disadvantaged, who were harassed by literacy tests. Now the right to vote is challenged by restrictions on open polling schedules and IDs, plus floods of money. It’s been a raw, rowdy, fierce, and often rollicking struggle for power. The Fight to Vote is “an engaging, concise history…offering many useful reforms that advocates on both sides of the aisle should consider” (The Wall Street Journal).

Because of Sex

One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work

Author: Gillian Thomas

Publisher: Picador USA

ISBN: 1250138086

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 3607

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A compelling look at ten of the most important Supreme Court cases defining women’s rights on the job, as told by the brave women who brought the cases to court

Consent of the Governed

The People's Guide to Holding Government Accountable

Author: Jason W. Hoyt

Publisher: BookBaby

ISBN: 0996686304

Category: Political Science

Page: 269

View: 8294

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Is the government out of control? Is there such a thing as "accountability" anymore? Unfortunately, we've been trained to think the only way We The People can hold our government accountable is by waiting for the next election. That's just not the case. In the book I explore true, real and impactful consequences in government and how the most powerful word in the Constitution has been hijacked. The good news is the people still have the power to act as a sword and shield, protecting against wrongful accusations by government while reaching inside the government to root out corruption. What if every single move the government made was under the watchful eye of We The People, but with real, tangible and immediate consequences? What if We The People could operate on an official capacity outside the branches of government and provide our "consent of the governed" on a daily basis? What if We The People could reach inside our government and root out corruption with indictments? What if the Supreme Court, as recent as 1992, said, "In fact the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the government and the people?" What if one of the most powerful tools We The People can use to check and balance the government was already protected by the Constitution? Fortunately, I'm not proposing a new idea. Like a political archaeologist, I've uncovered what has been there all along and has worked for 800 years.

Injustices

The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

Author: Ian Millhiser

Publisher: Nation Books

ISBN: 1568585853

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 9216

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Now with a new epilogue. Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In the Warren era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution’s promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren’t for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way. In Injustices, Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people’s elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.