Nine Scorpions in a Bottle: The Great Judges and Cases of the Supreme Court

Max Lerner, Author Arcade Publishing $27.95 (331p) ISBN 978-1-55970-168-6
Author and columnist, Lerner (1902-1992) gained a reputation as a thoughtful commentator on the Supreme Court in the 1930s and continued such work to his death. This notable volume collects a range of his essays, augmented by his reflective introductions. In the 1930s, Lerner criticized the conservative court majority for invalidating liberal state and New Deal legislation; he also defended FDR's controversial attempt to ``pack,'' or reorganize, the court. In extensive essays he analyzes the greatness of judges John Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Hugo Black and Robert Jackson. He concludes with observations on the four most recent ``Courts''--from Chief Justice Vinson's to Rehnquist's. Though Lerner sympathized with the early efforts of the Warren Court, he became critical of its activist decisions in affirmative action and criminal cases. Lerner describes his court-watching style as ``contextual, organismic, integrative, even mythic.'' His insights have not grown stale. Cummings teaches at Pace University School of Law. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-55970-291-1
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