Great Opposing Opinions in Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Beacon Press (MA), Paperback, 9780807000366, 229pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
If American history can truly be traced through the majority decisions in landmark Supreme Court cases, then what about the dissenting opinions? In issues of race, gender, privacy, workers' rights, and more, would advances have been impeded or failures rectified if the dissenting opinions were in fact the majority opinions?
In offering thirteen famous dissents-from "Marbury v. Madison" and "Brown v. Board of Education" to "Griswold v. Connecticut" and "Lawrence v. Texas," each edited with the judges' eloquence preserved-renowned Supreme Court scholar Mark Tushnet reminds us that court decisions are not pronouncements issued by the utterly objective, they are in fact political statements from highly intelligent but partisan people. Tushnet introduces readers to the very concept of dissent in the courts and then provides useful context for each case, filling in gaps in the Court's history and providing an overview of the issues at stake. After each case, he considers the impact the dissenting opinion would have had, if it had been the majority decision.
Lively and accessible, "I Dissent" offers a radically fresh view of the judiciary in a collection that is essential reading for anyone interested in American history.
An important reminder that strong challenges have been made to the best and worst in American constitutional development and that responsibility for the best lies as much in the citizenry as Supreme Court justices.—Mark A. Graber, author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil