The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right by Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse

September 5, 2016

Please join Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse MSL’ 78  for a discussion of their newest book, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, on Monday, September 12, 2016, at 6:10- 7:00 PM, SLB 122.

A fresh and revelatory look at the Warren Burger Supreme Court finds that it was not a “moderate” or transitional court, as often portrayed, but a conservative one that still defines the constitutional landscape we live in today.

When Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency in 1968 he promised to change the Supreme Court. With four appointments to the court, including Warren E. Burger as the chief justice, he did just that. In 1969, the Burger Court succeeded the famously liberal Warren Court, which had significantly expanded civil liberties and was despised by conservatives across the country.

The Burger Court is often described as a “transitional” court between the liberal Warren Court and the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, a court where little of importance happened. But as Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse shows, the Burger Court veered well to the right in such areas as criminal law, race, and corporate power. Even while declaring a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, it drew the line at government funding for poor women. The authors excavate the roots of the most significant Burger Court decisions and show how their legacy affects us today.

Michael J. Graetz is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the Justus S.Hotchkiss Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale . 

Linda Greenhouse, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and other major journalism awards, covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for nearly thirty years. Since 2009, she has taught at Yale Law School and written a biweekly op-ed column on the Court as a contributing writer for the Times. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College, Harvard, and earned a master of studies in law degree from Yale Law School.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library.

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