5 Best Books for Understanding Supreme Court History
The SCOTUS term may have ended, but that doesn't mean you have to stop reading about the most powerful court in the country. Every year, new books are published that highlight various aspects of the Court's history, the Justices' lives, and the cases that get decided.
And while you might not be able to bill for reading biographies, memoirs, and historical texts, if the High Court is a subject of interest to you, some of the following books might make for some good SCOTUS off-season reading.
1. Sandra Day O'Connor, Out of Order
Though a few years old at this point, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's book, Out of Order, provides an inside look at the Court's rich history from the Court's first female Justice. O'Connor explained that she wanted to show a different side of High Court, to show it as both a government and a human institution.
2. William Rehnquist, The Supreme Court
What former Justice Rehnquist's book lacks in creative titling, it makes up for in insights as to how the Court functions. The Justice describes how the Court selects their cases each term, how the decisions are conferenced, and even goes into details about the types of arguments the Justices get in with each other.
3. Stephen Breyer, The Court and the World: American Law and New Global Realities
Former Justice Breyer's book, The Court and the World: American Law and New Global Realities, goes into detail about how the High Court influences and interacts with U.S. law and the on the global stage. He explains how the Justices are more than just judges, but are nation's "Constitutional diplomats."
4. Clare Cushman, Table for 9
If you're looking for a different way to look at the Court, perhaps you might want to consider getting a bit of delicious hands on experience with Clare Cushman's Table for 9. The book is the latest Supreme Court cookbook, filled with recipes from current and former Justices, as well as colorful stories and photographs.
5. Melvin Urofsky, Dissent and the Supreme Court
Love reading dissents? Ever wonder why Justices write them? Are you curious about the history of SCOTUS dissents? Then Melvin Urofsky, a noted historian, has the book for you. His book, Dissent and the Supreme Court discusses the most notable dissents throughout the Court's history.
- SCOTUS Summer Reading List: After June, What Else You Going to Do? (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Justice Ginsburg Writes First Book Since Joining the Court (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
- Justice Ginsburg Is on Fire! (FindLaw's U.S. Supreme Court Blog)
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