Black Mondays: Worst Decisions of the Supreme Court

Joel D. Joseph, Author National Press $15.95 (286p) ISBN 978-0-915765-44-7
Unlike Thurgood Marshall's opinion in the foreword that the framers of the Constitution should be blamed for its inequities and compromises involving slavery and women, constitutional authority Joseph asserts that its misinterpretation by Supreme Court justices, rather than the document itself, was responsible for such erroneous decisions as the Dred Scott case, which, he alleges, helped precipitate the Civil War. The case is among what he considers the court's 20 ""worst'' decisions as selected by legal associations and law professors, either because they reflect poor reasoning or adversely affect the freedom of citizens. The cases and the cited dissents, which make instructive reading, concern freedom of religion, association, speech, right to privacy, equal protection under the law, criminal rights and access to justice. Included are the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ``Jim Crow'' case, and the WW II internment of citizens of Japanese origin, Georgia sodomy laws, Ralph Ginzburg's obscenity conviction and a June 1987 decision involving an FBI search of a black family in their Minnesota home, which, in the author's view, undercuts the Fourth Amendment guarantee of liberty and privacy. Photos. Mary Jane Ross Book Club selection; author tour. (November)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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