The Ascent of Pragmatism: The Burger Court in Action

Bernard Schwartz, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $24.95 (482p) ISBN 978-0-201-51817-7
Although the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Warren Burger preached judicial restraint, it actually pursued a policy of ``rootless activism,'' contends New York University law professor Schwartz. He offers a critical portrait of Burger as a frequently inept opinion-writer and a weak leader. In this detailed casebook, the author of Super Chief: Earl Warren and His Supreme Court argues that Burger, a tough law-and-order judge, sought to dismantle the liberal edifice erected by Warren but was out-voted by a centrist majority of justices. The Burger Court (1969-1986) upheld women's right to abortion ( Roe v . Wade ), endorsed affirmative action programs, extended rights to criminal or indigent defendants and, in U.S. v . Nixon , contributed to the first resignation of a president. Schwartz argues lamely that the Burger Court was generally swept along by what it perceived as a consensus in the social arena. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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