Felix Frankfurter's blustery depiction of debate within the Supreme Court suggests that combat sometimes supersedes collegiality in those hallowed halls. In fact, as Phillip Cooper shows, conflict is an inescapable fact of life in the Marble Temple. Cooper peels back the calm, quiet public image of our judicial royalty to reveal their "family" feuds and squabbles. He shows that whether motivated by deeply felt principle or by petty and vindictive impulses, these disputes dramatically shape the Court's decision-making process, the justices' relations with one another, and the public's perception of the Court. Filled with wonderful vignettes and telling anecdotes, Battles on the Bench illuminates the Court's legendary and little-known clashes from John Marshall to Ruth Ginsberg and helps us understand why the justices fight, how they fight, and why their fights matter. In the process, it reveals a long tradition of strategic flattery, cajolery, name-calling, threats, subterfuge, and sermonizing - all in an effort to win over or run over fellow justices.
Battles on the Bench