Sunday, October 07, 2007

More October Reading - The Supremes, cont.

Some more suggested readings on the Supreme Court:

Clarence Thomas has an autobiography out, entitled My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. Thomas is probably one of the most polarizing figures of our time, loved or hated, with few people ambivalent about him. He's also probably the most famous person on the court. I haven't read his memoir yet, but have it on my list. Regardless of your political persuasion, you should probably check this one out.

For another look at Thomas, here's a recent biography, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher. Some other biographies include Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas, by Ken Foskett; and First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas by Scott Douglas Gerber. I doubt many minds will be changed by any of these books, but I do think that Thomas is a person that more Americans need to know about, since the odds are that he will be around a long time shaping Supreme Court decisions.

There are other justices on the Supreme Court who are authors, I would recommend in particular that everyone check out Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution, by Justice Stephen Breyer, along with A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law, by Justice Antonin Scalia. Breyer is one of the court's more liberal justices, while Scalia is arguably one of the more conservative (along with Thomas) so reading the two of these works should give you a good idea of the competing judicial philosophies of the two groups.

Former justice Sandra Day O'Connor has written several books, some dealing with the court and some not. I'd recommend The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice for her thoughts on the court and other legal issues. She's also written a memoir of her early life entitled Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, which was cowritten with H. Alan Day.

Hopefully some of you will get a chance to check out at least one of these titles. I'd be interested to hear what you think of any of them.

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