JUSTICES AND PRESIDENTS: A Political History of the Appointments to the Supreme Court by Henry J. Abraham

JUSTICES AND PRESIDENTS: A Political History of the Appointments to the Supreme Court

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In his preface, Abraham confesses the fear that his book will prove to be ""less than astonishing or thrilling"" -- and as it turns out he's one hundred percent right. It's a routine example of a research paper written by a teacher on his special project. Beginning with a brief explanation of how federal judges are chosen, Abraham moves into a superficial analysis of two hundred years of Presidential motivation in Supreme Court appointments, and the subsequent performance of the appointees. The book is crammed with historical statistics, judicial trivia, and some rather unprofessorial conclusions. For example, a nebulous group identified only as ""Court Observers"" rates Mr. Justice Marshall, the Court's first black member, as only ""average."" Another group, known as ""Court Experts"" rates Mr. Justice Fortas as ""near great."" Was this the same group? How were they qualified to judge the judges? Because the subject matter is unavoidably repetitive, the book is musty. It might, with astute editing, have made a good article -- but ""Book Observers"" would probably rate it as only average.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1974
Publisher: Oxford