The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities

Stephen Breyer. Knopf, $27.50 (400p) ISBN 978-1101946190
Supreme Court Justice Breyer undertakes a high-level analysis of the legal framework that he and others on the Court employ to analyze complex issues that they face. He covers three major areas: the balance between security and civil rights, international commerce (including antitrust and patent law), and treaty interpretations. In addressing each topic, he begins with the history of the Court's jurisprudence and follows with a detailed and closely sourced analysis of relevant recent Supreme Court opinions. Breyer, who is part of the Court's liberal bloc, targets a narrow group of academics, lawyers with specialized practices touching international law, government policy makers, and highly sophisticated lay readers. Of most interest to the latter group is the discussion of the Court's approach to measures that create tension between the civil rights and security. Breyer makes clear that the current Court has not issued a "blank check" to either the president or Congress in regards to infringing upon civil liberties. Also of tangential interest is Breyer's acknowledgement that the Supreme Court has historically been influenced by reactions to previous decisions and the cultural currents of the present. This is a thoughtful and articulate guide for law practitioners and others with a stake in these complex issues. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 09/15/2015
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-101-91207-2
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