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Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's…

Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey

by Linda Greenhouse

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285661,060 (4.06)6
Reveals the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, as seen through the eyes and writings of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, as he reflects on issues including the death penalty, abortion, and sex discrimination.



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My favorite law-related book ever. Excellent biography of one of my favorite Supreme Court justices, and written by an author who really knows her stuff. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Very well written and researched of the Supreme Court Justice ( )
  AnneliM | May 31, 2008 |
A detailed and perhaps overly sympathetic portrait of Justice Blackmun. This is a quick, entertaining read, but it likely overestimates the quality of Blackmun's work on the Supreme Court ( )
1 vote hagertyhartfeldt | Mar 2, 2008 |
4079 Becoming Justice Blackmun Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, by Linda Greenhouse (read 4 Oct 2005) This book by the very able New York Times Supreme Court reporter is exceptionally well-done, and furnishes a super authentic insight into the workings of the Supreme Court during Blackmun's tenure. Blackmun was born 12 Nov 1908 in Nashville, Ill., grew up in St. Paul, met future Chief Justice Warren Burger in kindergarten. He went to Harvard College and Law, ranking no. 120 out of 451 in his law school class. This book is not really a biography, but only because it leaves out a lot of his life. There is much concentration on Roe v. Wade. The account of the behind the scenes story of that opinion made me feel the justices were acting like legislators--as they were. There was no justification for the Supreme Court to override all the state law, and it is I think generally realized by legal scholars that Roe v. Wade was a brutal exercise of judicial power, done because they could do it. But the behind the scenes account is excellent, based on Blackmun's papers which were opened five years after his death on 4 Mar 1999. I think it is a better book than even Bob Woodward's The Brethren (read 17 Mar 1982) and Closed Chambers by Blackmun's law clerk Edward Lazarus (read 18 Aug 1998) and ranks with the fascinating behind the scenes book The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox (read 15 Feb 2005) by Justice McReynolds' law clerk. This book was a sheer pleasure to read, even tho I disapprove of Blackmun's infamous work in Roe v. Wade. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Oct 18, 2007 |
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Reveals the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, as seen through the eyes and writings of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, as he reflects on issues including the death penalty, abortion, and sex discrimination.

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