THE SUPREME COURT In The American System of Government by Robert H. Jackson

THE SUPREME COURT In The American System of Government

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These Godkin Lectures at Harvard by the late Mr. Justice Jackson provide an examination of our one and only court of last resort which is clear and cogent and urgent- in their awareness of the liberties which are to be sustained and protected in a world which has traded liberty for totalitarianism. In the first lecture, Justice Jackson examines the Supreme Court as an Institution, its functions, its powers, and its limitations-primarily of capacity and of jurisdiction; in the second, as a Law Court, administering civil and criminal justice; and in the third, as a Political Institution ""arbitrating the allocation of powers between different branches of the Federal Government, between state and nation, between state and state, and between majority government and minority rights."" It is here that the two great disaster-potentials, war and the power to tax and spend, with the executive power insulated from judicial controls, sound their clearest danger- and it is only the ""attitude of a society... rather than its legal machinery"" which can be the ""controlling force in the character of free institutions""... An important inquiry which extends to the politico-philosophical significance of this highest body of authority for the thoughtful reader as well as the student.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1955
Publisher: Harvard University Press