Reviews

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* From the awkward swearing-in of President Obama by Chief Justice Roberts to Obama's caustic reaction to the Citizens United ruling to Roberts' support of Obama's health-care law, the tumultuous relationship between the administration and the Supreme Court has been increasingly evident. Both Harvard-educated lawyers, Obama and Roberts are known for their charm and intelligence, but their very different political perspectives have promised friction from the beginning, particularly as changes in the composition of the court resonate with the changes in national politics. Legal analyst Toobin offers a vivid inside look at the personalities and politics behind the fractious relationship. Roberts' honeymoon lasted 12 months before the fault lines in the court cracked along ideological lines, with conservatives disappointed in his attempts at equanimity and liberals distrustful of his behind-the-scenes maneuverings. Toobin details the politics behind decisions about what cases even get heard as well as the procedural strategies that affect the final rulings. Among the highlights: Ginsburg's scathing dissent on a ruling against a claim of pay disparity, in which she urged congressional action; Souter's caustic dissent in Citizens United that questioned Roberts' integrity; and Scalia's bitter disappointment in Roberts' decision on the health-care law. A revealing look at the ideological battle between the White House and the Supreme Court. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The best-selling author of The Nine (2007) revisits the Supreme Court in a timely book that is sure to draw plenty of interest during the election season.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist


Choice
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

Toobin is a staff writer at The New Yorker and is senior legal analyst at CNN. He is also the much-acclaimed author of the best-selling book The Nine (2008), among others. As such, he is eminently qualified to write this book about the relationship between the Obama White House and the US Supreme Court during the president's first term. Beginning with Chief Justice Roberts's flubbing the oath of office at Obama's first inauguration, Toobin meticulously compares and contrasts the personalities and abilities of Obama and Roberts, and then he details their sharp ideological differences. He correctly points to the Obama team's error in believing that congressional conservatives were the main obstacle to a successful administration, rather than the conservative majority on the US Supreme Court. Toobin then discusses how the president fared in the Supreme Court's decision making on issues that mattered most to the Obama administration. The book is very well documented but easy and enjoyable to read. The index is detailed and useful, and the book contains an excellent bibliography for those who wish to do additional research into many of these varied subjects. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. R. A. Carp University of Houston


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Best-selling author Toobin (staff writer, The New Yorker; The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court) returns to the Supreme Court in his latest book. With the 2012 election approaching, this well-timed title examines the relationship between the Roberts court and the Obama White House. Toobin paints a portrait of a president and chief justice who are not so very different in some regards-young and passionate, graduates of Harvard Law, dedicated to change-but whose profound philosophical differences have resulted in a tense relationship between those two branches of government. Though the work can occasionally feel a bit disjointed, Toobin's focus on the personalities involved, especially his attention to the dynamics within the Court, enlivens the legal analysis and creates a kind of narrative. VERDICT Toobin has made a career of writing a compelling and readable mix of legal analysis and storytelling. Timely, entertaining, and insightful, this book is no different, and fans of his previous work will find more to enjoy here. Court watchers and politics junkies will delight in this fascinating examination of a crucial moment in Supreme Court history.-Rachel Bridgewater, Portland Community Coll. Lib. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.