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InAll the Laws but One, William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, provides an insightful and fascinating account of the history of civil liberties during wartime and illuminates the cases where presidents have suspended the law in the name of national security. Abraham Lincoln, champion of freedom and the rights of man, suspended the writ of habeas corpus early in the Civil War--later in the war he also imposed limits upon freedom of speech and the press and demanded that political criminals be tried in military courts. During World War II, the government forced 100,000 U. S. residents of Japanese descent, including many citizens, into detainment camps. Through these and other incidents Chief Justice Rehnquist brilliantly probes the issues at stake in the balance between the national interest and personal freedoms. WithAll the Laws but Onehe significantly enlarges our understanding of how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution during past periods of national crisis--and draws guidelines for how it should do so in the future.
Near midnight on Election Day in November 1876, the returns coming into Republican National headquarters signaled a victory for the Democratic presidential candidate, Samuel J. Tilden. But alert Republican leaders saw that if all the states still doubtful or disputed went for their candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes would be elected. Word was sent out to four southern states that their returns were crucial for a Hayes victory. Thus Chief Justice William Rehnquist begins this remarkable account of one of American's greatest political dramas, a crisis that was not resolved for nearly four months, on March 2, 1877, only two days before Inauguration Day. In his gripping story, Rehnquist tells how each party maneuvered to buy votes in the southern states, how the country slid into Congressional, judicial and public turmoil, and how the creation in January of an Electoral Commission (comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans and five Supreme Court justices) was opposed by both candidates. When that body's deciding vote was cast by Justice Joseph Bradley, public outcry reached such a fever pitch that the presidential swearing-in had to be held on a Sunday in near secrecry. Reaching beyond the history of a contentious election, the Chief Justice describes the political climate and economy of America in the 1870's, packing his narrative with biographical sketches of the central participants and opening a window on events in that decade that have long been overlooked. In a compelling epilogue we learn the occasions when Presidents, ranging from George Washington to Lyndon Johnson, have asked Supreme Court justices to arbitrate disputes, settle treaties or serve on investigating commissions. Almost always the justices were berated and attacked for their decisions. Would it be better for them to have refused the president's request? The Chief Justice has some surprising answers.
This new edition of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's classic book offers a lively and accessible history of the Supreme Court. His engaging writing illuminates both the high and low points in the Court's history, from Chief Justice Marshall's dominance of the Court during the early nineteenth century through the landmark decisions of the Warren Court. Citing cases such as the Dred Scott decision and Roosevelt's Court-packing plan, Rehnquist makes clear that the Court does not operate in a vacuum, that the justices are unavoidably influenced by their surroundings, and that their decisions have real and lasting impacts on our society. The public often hears little about the Supreme Court until decisions are handed down. Here, Rehnquist reveals its inner workings--the process by which cases are chosen, the nature of the conferences where decisions are made, and the type of debates that take place. With grace and wit, this incisive history gives a dynamic and informative account of the most powerful court in the nation and how it has shaped the direction America has taken.
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