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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Justices and More

Tom: Well, you have surpassed my reading level now. I have to congratulate you. As I did in those days when you left the pond creek swamps for Navy OCS - I have again placed you on a pedestal of achievement to which I can aspire. (Vic)

Just finished two rather short books, that turned out to be unintentional companion volumes-The Supreme Court-Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, and All The Laws But One by the late Chief Justice Wm Rehnquist. The former was not an exhaustive study of the court, but rather several parings of justices and differing "judicial temperaments" over the
history of the Republic. For example, John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson; John Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes; Hugo Black and William O. Douglas; William Rehnquist and Antonia Scalia.
The latter was a study by Rehnquist of the attempts on the part of the Federal Gov't to suspend civil liberties in times of war, especially the writ of habeas corpus. Reviews the Civil War, World War 1, WW 2, especially the internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast.
This was written in 1998. Would be interesting if Rehnquist were still with us to get his take on the Bush efforts in the post 9-11 world. It truth, O W Holmes was correct when he rather cynically said: "The Law is what we say that it is.!" Vic, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know.

Oh well, on to my study of the Constitution-where I may actually read it in its entirety for the first time. I fear that I will be camped out here for the "duration." (Tom Richarme)

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