Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse
The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right
This event includes a book signing
June 30, 2016
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School MICHAEL J. GRAETZ and Pulitzer Prize–winner LINDA GREENHOUSE for a discussion of their book The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right.
About The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right
A fresh and revelatory look at the Warren Burger Supreme Court finds that it was not a “moderate” or transitional court, as often portrayed, but a conservative one that still defines the constitutional landscape we live in today.
When Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency in 1968 he promised to change the Supreme Court. With four appointments to the court, including Warren E. Burger as the chief justice, he did just that. In 1969, the Burger Court succeeded the famously liberal Warren Court, which had significantly expanded civil liberties and was despised by conservatives across the country.
The Burger Court is often described as a “transitional” court between the liberal Warren Court and the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, a court where little of importance happened. But as Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse show, the Burger Court veered well to the right in such areas as criminal law, race, and corporate power. Even while declaring a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, it drew the line at government funding for poor women. The authors excavate the roots of the most significant Burger Court decisions and show how their legacy affects us today.
The most comprehensive evaluation of the Burger Supreme Court ever written for a general audience,The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right draws on the personal papers of the justices as well as other archives to reveal how the Court shaped its major decisions. It will surprise even legal scholars and historians with its insights into a period that has received too little attention from either.
“This revelatory book resets how we think about the Constitution and the Supreme Court that interprets it. The Court led by Chief Justice Warren Burger is often seen as an afterthought, wedged between the Warren Court and the hard right Justices today. In fact the 1970s and 1980s set the pattern for decades of American life, on topics from campaign finance to presidential power to criminal law. With clarity and insight, Michael Graetz and Linda Greenhouse show how the often jumbled doctrines of that time helped produce the America of today.” —Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and author of The Fight to Vote
"This is the best kind of legal history: cogent, relevant, and timely, given the focus on the Court’s role and power after the death of Justice Scalia." —Publishers Weekly
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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