Laura's Reviews > American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

American Original by Joan Biskupic
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

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bookshelves: gift, law-policy-and-justice, willing-to-lend
Read in January, 2011

This author was remarkably even-handed in her discussion of Justice Scalia and his jurisprudential philosophy, which is an impressive feat. Scalia is such a polarizing figure that to acknowledge both the merits and problems of his thinking and his approach to judging requires resolve and skill (and probably gratitude for his cooperation). The author explains the legal concepts that the Court considered clearly and correctly without watering things down, with the only exception being the use of "reverse" for "overrule" in a couple of instance. I also was very impressed with the last chapter: it tied together so many different elements of Scalia's influence and thinking in a way that actually communicated something coherent and cohesive. The rating of 3 stars rather than 4 mostly reflects the fact that a lot of the material was not new to me, as well as the amount of time dedicated to separation-of-powers issues (very important to Scalia and to the Court, kind of boring to me).

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