THE BILL OF RIGHTS: Its Impact on the American People by Marjorie Fribourg

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: Its Impact on the American People

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the spirit of her earlier, well-received The Supreme Court in American History (1965), Marjorie Fribourg focuses on six areas in which the various provisions of the Bill of Rights operate--freedom of speech and the press, of assembly and petition, of religion as freedom from imposed religion, property rights, military justice (and problems occasioned by bearing arms), the rights of the accused. Within each are several aspects: sometimes chronological consequences of a particular Supreme Court decision (e.g., the prohibition of compulsory prayer and Bible reading in public schools); sometimes almost concurrent responses (bail reform, Escobedo, Sheppard) to the temper of the times (criticism of court procedures); sometimes a consecutive movement (woman suffrage as advanced by the right to assemble and petition peacefully). The result is a complex book requiring close attention. It gains interest from the very detailed development of individual cases and their interconnection with events and with each other; and it has values beyond the obvious--here is law as part of history in process, here is the court as conciliator and teacher, here are Brandeis and Holmes, men of one mind, divided on an issue--here is the difficulty of securing justice for all. (The obscure table of contents--generalities plus quotes out of context--is largely redeemed by the very detailed index, which spots individuals, cases, issues, areas.)

Pub Date: June 12th, 1967
Publisher: Macrae Smith