Skip to content

Mark Tushnet, The Warren Court (1954-1968): Procedural Liberalism and Personal Freedom, in The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice 277 (Christopher Tomlins ed., 2005).

Abstract: With its ability to review and interpret all American law, the Supreme Court of the United States is arguably the most influential branch of government. Yet, institutionally, it is the least powerful. Its authority relies entirely on the willing consent of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government and of the American people to accept it as law's ultimate arbiter. Perhaps for this very reason the Court has taken great care to shield itself from the public gaze. Offering a sweeping history of this remote and austere institution, The United States Supreme Court pulls back the curtain of mystery to make the Court accessible to all readers. Eighteen essays, written by the nation's top legal historians -- among them Mark Tushnet, Scot Powe, Paul Finkelman, and Katherine Fischer Taylor -- provide incisive interpretation of the Court's activities over the past two centuries, from its first meetings in borrowed space in the U.S. Capitol to the ornate "Marble Palace" of the present day. The United States Supreme Courtshowcases the Court's legal triumphs and disasters, its internal workings, and its impact on American politics, society, and culture. The book also brings to light the uneasy influence of popular culture and electoral politics on the Court. Organized chronologically by the terms of each chief justice, here are fresh insights into the Court's key moments and cases, from the Dred Scot decision to Brown v. Board of Education, from the Lochner era to the Warren Court, from Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore. --Publisher.