The recent nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice serves as a reminder of the crucial role that the Justices and the Constitution play in our lives. Issues such as reproductive rights, freedom of the press, and much more hang in the balance with this potential appointment. Below are a few titles that remind us of the role that both the Constitution and the Supreme Court Justices play in ensuring a fair interpretation of U.S. laws.  #SCOTUS

The History of the Constitution

America’s Lone Star Constitution: How Supreme Court Cases from Texas Shape the Nation by Lucas A. Powe, Jr. 

“Powe has been for many years a triple-threat scholar—a keen legal analyst, a profound political thinker, and an engaging historian storyteller. He brilliantly puts all these talents to work in a groundbreaking venture.” —Thomas G. Krattenmaker, William and Mary School of Law

“The great state of Texas has produced a disproportionate share of landmark cases in American constitutional law—in areas as diverse as race, abortion, gay rights, flag burning, and school finance. Powe illuminates the context of those rulings and supplies many choice anecdotes about the Supreme Court and its Justices.” —Michael Klarman, Harvard Law School


Living the Bill of Rights: How to Be an Authentic American by Nat Hentoff 

Nat Hentoff is one of America’s most passionate and prominent writers about civil liberties and civil rights. As the late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan told Hentoff, Americans need to know how “American liberties were won—and what it takes to keep them alive.” With characteristic eloquence, Hentoff covers the full range of American life in these inspiring profiles and stories about public and private heroes—Supreme Court Justices William Brennan and William O. Douglas, Dr. Kenneth Clark, and students, teachers, lawyers, and others who challenge assaults on the Bill of Rights.



A Practical Companion to the Constitution: How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning, Updated and Expanded Edition of The Evolving Constitution by Jethro K. Lieberman

“A tour de force: a compact but comprehensive compendium of constitutional law that is accessible to the lay person and helpful to the specialist.”—Nadine Strossen, past President of American Civil Liberties Union

“It is no small task to write concisely and well about complex and controversial subjects. Lieberman has the rare ability to pull it off with great panache.”—Daniel J. Kornstein, New York Law Journal


Narrowing the Nation’s Power: The Supreme Court Sides with the States by John T. Noonan Jr.

“A devastating attack on the logic of the Supreme Court’s revival of states’ rights, and makes complex legal doctrine enjoyable and readily understandable reading.”—Jesse H. Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law, University of California, Berkeley

“Judge Noonan’s stature as a leading conservative thinker gives added prestige to this compact, lively and riveting account.”—Norman Dorsen, Stokes Professor of Law, New York University; past President of the American Civil Liberties Union



Reproductive Rights

How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump by Laura Briggs 

“A tour de force that highlights the failures of neoliberalism for many American families.”—Alexandra Minna Stern, author of Eugenic Nation and Telling Genes

“Briggs unmasks the racialized, classed, and gendered politics of this neoliberal moment.”—Eileen Boris, coauthor, Caring for America

“A critical and timely analysis for all reproductive justice activists and scholars.”—Loretta Ross, coauthor of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

Read more on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.


Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade, Updated, With a New Epilogue by David J. Garrow

Roe v. Wade (1973) grew out  efforts to legalize abortion but also out of earlier battles against statutes that criminalized birth control. When the U.S. Supreme Court in 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut, voided such a prohibition as an outrageous intrusion upon marital privacy, it opened a previously unimagined constitutional door: the opportunity to argue that a woman’s access to a safe, legal abortion was also a fundamental constitutional right.

In this edition, Garrow also traces the post-Roe evolution of abortion rights battles and the wider struggle for sexual privacy up through the 25th anniversary of Roe in early 1998.


Freedom of the Press

The Fourth Estate and the Constitution: Freedom of the Press in America by Lucas A. Powe

“His characteristically outspoken account is in the best tradition of legal realism.”–Hans A. Linde, Professor of Law, University of Oregon

“Well written, povocative, and comprehensive–a superb introduction to the field. A lively combination of doctrinal summaries, policy analyses, and historical detail will be instructive for the beginner and scholar alike.”–C. Edwin Baker, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania

“Path-breaking, a work of first-rate importance.”–Dwight L. Teeter, Professor of Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case by David Rudenstine

This bold account provides an original perspective on one of the most significant legal struggles in American history: the Nixon administration’s efforts to prohibit the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the 7,000-page, top-secret Pentagon Papers, which traced U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In his gripping account of this highly charged case, Rudenstine examines new evidence, raises difficult questions, and challenges conventional views of a historic moment.

Read Rudenstine’s take on Steven Spielberg’s The Post.



Federal Sentence Reporter

Federal Sentencing Reporter explores in detail the complex sector of sentencing law, practice and theory. Read more about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s contributions to sentencing and corrections reform.

New Criminal Law Review

Focused on examinations of crime and punishment in domestic, transnational, and international contexts, New Criminal Law Review provides timely, innovative commentary and in-depth scholarly analyses on a wide range of criminal law topics.