Dissent: The Radicalization of the Republican Party and Its Capture of the Court

Jackie Calmes. Twelve, $32.50 (432p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0079-2
Los Angeles Times editor Calmes debuts with a scrupulous history of the Republican Party’s efforts to put a conservative “lock” on the Supreme Court. Calmes tracks how the party’s rightward shift over the past 40 years—from the Reagan revolution to the Tea Party and Trumpism—played out in an increasingly aggressive approach toward stacking the federal judiciary with conservative judges. Calmes sketches the hearings of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and others, but spends the most time on Brett Kavanaugh’s rise through the ranks of Republican legal circles. She delves into the creation and growing influence of the Federalist Society, which Kavanaugh joined in 1988, and details his work assisting independent counsel Kenneth Starr in his investigation of the Clintons, as well as serving as White House staff secretary to George W. Bush. Calmes also offers insight into Stanford University research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to come forward with sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, and makes a convincing argument that Kavanaugh misled Congress about his knowledge of the Bush administration’s “illegal surveillance and torture policies” and a Republican aide’s theft of thousands of emails and memos sent by Democratic senators and their aides in the early 2000s. Though Calmes covers familiar ground, she lucidly and comprehensively explains the mechanics of the “ascendant conservative legal movement.” Liberals will be outraged by this richly detailed rundown of Republican provocations. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/06/2021
Release date: 06/15/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-3869-0
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