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The Conservative Assault on the Constitution

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  88 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Over the last few decades, the Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts have undergone a dramatic shift to the right, the result of a determined effort by right-wing lawmakers and presidents to reinterpret the Constitution by reshaping the judiciary. Conservative activist justices have narrowed the scope of the Constitution, denying its protections to millions of Ame ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 17th 2010)
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Bonni
In the past, when I have heard about "a side" not respecting the constitution, the criticism is usually lobbed at liberals. Chermerinsky's view is quite different. He gives examples of how, since President Nixon's nomination of four conservative supreme court justices, many 5-4 court decisions have chipped away at some of our fundamental, constitutional rights.

I walk away after reading this book knowing a lot more about the constitution and the supreme court. If you are looking for a balanced v
...more
Christopher
Enjoyable, accessible book for law nerds and only occasionally laundry-listy. And, yes, I did carry it across the office once to answer a question, which was very satisfying.
Ryan
A really well-informed and well argued book concerning the last 45 years or so of Supreme Court decisions. Especially relevant to me is the rejection of the myth of "original intent." The author absolutely slays the argument that judges even have the capacity to act as impartial interpreters of the Constitution. Showing how it's impossible to judge on Constitutional matters without making value choices and sifting through layers of abstractions found in a 200+ year old document, Chemerinsky obli ...more
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The Conservative Assault on the Constitution by Erwin Chemerinsky

The Conservative Assault on the Constitution is a must read book for anyone who cares about the application of the Constitution. And who better to educate us on it than distinguished law professor and constitutional expert Erwin Chemerinsky? Mr. Chemerinsky takes us through a series of the most interesting legal issues of our time and the impact that the composition of the Supreme Court has on such legal decisions. Fascinating boo
...more
Michael
Everything you assume Chemerinsky wrote about in this book is true:
- The right wing assault on our rights is occurring
- Alito, Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy like corporations and government power
- There's a major disconnect (double speak?) between what conservatives say they look for in a judge and what type of judges they nominate.

Chemerinsky argues that the idea of a judge as an "umpire" is a false one and that that is one of the real problems with judges today.

One problem for me was t
...more
jeffrey
I agree with most of the prior reviews- this is an excellently and clearly written work that is a must read, particularly near presidential election time. Voters should keep in mind that the effects of who they elect as the leader of this country will far outlast his or her actual years in office if that president has the opportunity to appoint judges to the Supreme bench.

A caveat- while I mostly agreed with the author's premise, he presumes the reader already shares his viewpoint on the desired
...more
Leroy
Excellent book. Explains in fairly good detail how many of the apparently inexplicable declines in civil liberties have come about as the direct efforts of the influential conservative justices who have interpreted the Constitution. Chemerinsky also offers recommendations for how to reverse these declines, although in some respects these remedies depend upon the unpredictable results of elections and historical events, both of which can have profound effects on the composition of the Supreme Cou ...more
The Book : An Online Review at The New Republic
The conservative assault on the Constitution began with the election of Richard Nixon, who promised to appoint Supreme Court justices to reverse Warren Court precedents of the previous fifteen years. Under the leadership of Chief Justice Warren, the Court had desegregated schools, strengthened the rights of criminal defendants, advanced the right of privacy, and limited the role of religion in public life. Read more...
Mark Prak
Not impressive at all. Erwin seems to think that anything done with 5 votes by the Warren Court was carved in stone, but anything done by 5 other justices that he disagrees with is an abomination. His desire for a results oriented jurisprudence has created the problem of which he complains. First work of his I'd read. I expected more. And I was disappointed in his blatantly political and extreme left wing world view.
Logan Daugherty
a horrifying yet intriguing expose on the lack of constitutional protection by the right.
Mark
Dec 29, 2012 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Chemerinsky argues "there is no such thing as a neutral method of interpreting the Constitution. All justices . . . have to make value choices about the meaning of the Constitution and how it applies to particular cases."
Justin
Jan 04, 2011 Justin added it
Another depressing political book, but definitely illuminating. Kinda makes me wish I had applied to go to law school at UCI and take Chemerinsky's Constitutional Law class.
Rachel
Jun 29, 2012 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: law
A great rallying cry for liberals (he's really preaching to the choir). Conservatives, it'll make your heads explode.
Jamie Weiss
Solid update analyzing the Supreme Court's conservative judicial activism of the last 30 years.
Tarren Lopez
What an amazing and frightening book! I love love loved it!
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