Book Review of White, Earl Warren: A Public Life and Schwartz, Super Chief: Earl Warren and His Supreme Court – A Judicial Biography
4 Pages Posted: 28 May 2019
Date Written: June 19, 2018
This brief 1985 essay review discusses the nature of Supreme Court decision making as understood by two leading legal scholars, G. Edward White and Bernard Schwartz, in their respective analyses of the work of Chief Justice Earl Warren and the Warren Court in two then-recent books. The essay pays particular attention to each author’s understanding, in connection with his respective analysis, of concepts such as judicial "leadership" and "activism," as well as the connections between the intellectual and political aspects of the Supreme Court’s work and between decision making and opinion writing. Finally, the essay questions the sufficiency of Warren’s alleged reliance on his own ethical values as a basis for constitutional decision making, given the obvious existence of competing ethical values, such as those represented by cost-benefit analysis, which may be held by other Justices.
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