Sandra Day O’Connor’s name isn’t heard often these days—certainly not at the Supreme Court, which she dominated for years from her seat at its ideological center, but where her distinctive brand of center-right pragmatism quickly lost its purchase after her retirement. Her replacement in January 2006 by the hard-right Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by President George W. Bush, has proved to be one of the most consequential seat swaps in modern Supreme Court history. During a panel discussion a decade ago, O’Connor observed with characteristic bluntness that her legacy at the Court was being “dismantled.” How did she feel about that, her interviewer asked. “What would you feel?” O’Connor countered. “I’d be a little bit disappointed. If you think you’ve been helpful, and then it’s dismantled, you think, ‘Oh, dear.’ But life goes on. It’s not always positive.”
with an introduction and analysis by Rosalind S. Helderman and Matt Zapotosky
Impeachment: A Handbook
by Charles L. Black Jr. and Philip Bobbitt
Should the House Democrats proceed to impeachment despite the seeming impossibility that the Senate would vote—by the constitutionally required two-thirds majority—to convict Trump and remove him from office? That question confronted the Democrats from the start and stymies them still.
Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted
edited by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger, with an introduction by Scott Turow and Barry Scheck
Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions
by Mark Godsey
Week after week, the story unfolds before our eyes: “Wrongfully Imprisoned, Groundskeeper Returns” (The New York Times, March 28, 2018); “$10 Million for Man Wrongly Convicted of Murdering Parents” (The New York Times, April 21, 2018); “Philadelphia Man Freed After Serving 11 Years for Murder He Did Not Commit” (The …
Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics
by Marjorie J. Spruill
How did the Equal Rights Amendment, an effort born in bipartisanship, end in polarizing defeat? Clearly, the ERA prompted a profound debate about the place of women not only in the workforce but in the home, the family, and society itself, in the course of which the amendment became entangled with the rise of the religious right that helped to bring about Reagan’s electoral sweep. Was the ERA the cause of polarization or its victim? Or did it turn out to be something else: a catalyst for positive change in legislative and judicial attitudes?
“Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation
by Nancy Weiss Malkiel
Nancy Weiss Malkiel’s “Keep the Damned Women Out”, a painstakingly detailed account of how coeducation came to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, is an invaluable antidote to the amnesia that has come to envelop the subject. More than that, it is an important work of cultural history. It seems a truism to observe that so profound a change could not have occurred in a vacuum, and Malkiel takes full account of the social and political revolutions that were convulsing the country in the 1960s. But she digs deeper to show how, as the decade neared its end, the leaders of Yale and Princeton realized that the mission these institutions had long assigned themselves of producing the nation’s leaders would soon be unsustainable in the absence of coeducation.
Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work
by Gillian Thomas
At first glance, the answer to the question “What is sex discrimination?” seems obvious enough: treating men and women differently, because of sex. But at second glance, considering that men and women actually are different in ways that might have some relevance to the workplace, complexities soon emerge.