The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

Erwin Chemerinsky. Simon & Schuster, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7468-2
Chemerinsky, a leading constitutional scholar, offers an impassioned critique of current Supreme Court jurisprudence, which in his view has turned in a radically conservative direction that misperceives the role of the Court within our political system by exercising too much power in the development of public policy and betrays the Founder's Constitutional protections, such as the right to a fair trial. Chemerinsky depicts the rhetoric spread across recent Republican presidencies, which fueled political support for a conservative federal judiciary. With examples of the current Court's expanding conservative stamp on questions of education, expanding presidential power, infringing on the separation of church and state as well as individual and criminal rights, he asserts that the five-Justice conservative majority has systematically distorted our constitutional landscape with their overly conservative rulings. He remains optimistic, however, about the ultimate direction of the Court and suggests strategies to reverse the trend, like undertaking a concerted effort to debunk the fiction that conservative judges are not "activist." For support, he looks to the infamous Supreme Court opinion Bush v. Gore, which he claims demonstrates the hypocrisy of "the conservative rhetoric about judicial restraint." Conservative readers will be incensed by his critique of the Court, and liberals may take heart in his sense that there will be another day. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-1-4165-7467-5
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4516-0635-5
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