American Justice 2015
The Dramatic Tenth Term of the Roberts Court
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
180 pages, 140.00 x 216.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9780812248067
- Published: November 2015
American Justice 2015: The Dramatic Tenth Term of the Roberts Court is the indispensable guide to the most controversial and divisive cases decided by the Supreme Court in the 2014-15 term. Steven Mazie, Supreme Court correspondent for The Economist, examines the term's fourteen most important cases, tracing the main threads of contention and analyzing the expected impacts of the decisions on the lives of Americans. Legal experts and law students will be drawn to the lively summaries of the issues and arguments, while scholars and theorists will be engaged and provoked by the book's elegant introduction, in which Mazie invokes John Rawls's theory of "public reason" to defend the institution of the Supreme Court against its many critics.
Mazie contends that the Court is less ideologically divided than most observers presume, issuing many more unanimous rulings than 5-4 decisions throughout the term that concluded in June 2015. When ruling on questions ranging from marriage equality to freedom of speech to the Affordable Care Act, the justices often showed a willingness to depart from their ideological fellow travelers—and this was particularly true of the conservative justices. Chief Justice Roberts joined his liberal colleagues in saving Obamacare and upholding restrictions on personal solicitation of campaign funds by judicial candidates. Justice Samuel Alito and the chief voted with the liberals to expand the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. And Justice Clarence Thomas floated to the left wing of the bench in permitting Texas to refuse to print a specialty license plate emblazoned with a Confederate flag. American Justice 2015 conveys, in clear, accessible terms, the arguments, decisions, and drama in these cases, as well as in cases involving Internet threats, unorthodox police stops, death-penalty drugs, racial equality, voting rights, and the separation of powers.
"Steven Mazie is one of the most acute observers of the Supreme Court around. He writes clearly, concisely, and is a pleasure to read."—John Prideaux, The Economist
"American Justice 2015 is a 'can't miss' for anyone interested in the Supreme Court. Steven Mazie deftly weaves the major decisions of the 2014-15 term into an eminently readable narrative that looks beyond the 'liberal/conservative' stereotypes to focus on how the court operates as an institution."—Amy Howe, SCOTUSblog
"Critical yet not cynical, aware of its many flaws but not blind to its considerable virtues, Steven Mazie describes a Supreme Court that seeks to be and often is an 'exemplar of public reason.' Written with clarity and insight by a gifted teacher, scholar, and journalist, American Justice 2015 should be of great interest to citizens and specialists alike."—Stephen Macedo, author of Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy, and the Future of Marriage
"The Supreme Court term that ended in June 2015 will go down in the history books—and Steven Mazie has written the first draft. In this balanced, detailed, yet accessible book he tells you what you need to know about the court's momentous health care and gay rights decisions, as well as about many more of great importance. Required reading for anyone who wants to understand the court's year from beginning to end."—Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School