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Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America (2005)

by Mark R. Levin

Other authors: Edwin Meese III (Afterword), Rush Limbaugh (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
518238,500 (4.09)3
"A modern conservative classic." - Sean Hannity "Men in Black couldn't be more timely or important....a tremendously important and compelling book." - Rush Limbaugh  "One of the finest books on the Constitution and the judiciary I've read in a long time....There is no better source for understanding and grasping the seriousness of this issue." - Edwin Meese III  "The Supreme Court has broken through the firewalls constructed by the framers to limit judicial power."                                                               "America's founding fathers had a clear and profound vision for what they wanted our federal government to be," says constitutional scholar Mark R. Levin in his explosive book, Men in Black. "But today, our out-of-control Supreme Court imperiously strikes down laws and imposes new ones to suit its own liberal whims--robbing us of our basic freedoms and the values on which our country was founded." In Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America, Levin exposes countless examples of outrageous Supreme Court abuses, from promoting racism in college admissions, expelling God and religion from the public square, forcing states to confer benefits on illegal aliens, and endorsing economic socialism to upholding partial-birth abortion, restraining political speech, and anointing terrorists with rights.  Levin writes: "Barely one hundred justices have served on the United States Supreme Court. They're unelected, they're virtually unaccountable, they're largely unknown to most Americans, and they serve for life...in many ways the justices are more powerful than members of Congress and the president.... As few as five justices can and do dictate economic, cultural, criminal, and security policy for the entire nation." In Men in Black, you will learn:   How the Supreme Court protects virtual child pornography and flag burning as forms of free speech but denies teenagers the right to hear an invocation mentioning God at a high school graduation ceremony because it might be "coercive." How a former Klansman and virulently anti-Catholic Supreme Court justice inserted the words "wall of separation" between church and state in a 1947 Supreme Court decision--a phrase repeated today by those who claim to stand for civil liberty. How Justice Harry Blackmun, a one-time conservative appointee and the author of Roe v. Wade, was influenced by fan mail much like an entertainer or politician, which helped him to evolve into an ardent activist for gay rights and against the death penalty. How the Supreme Court has dictated that illegal aliens have a constitutional right to attend public schools, and that other immigrants qualify for welfare benefits, tuition assistance, and even civil service jobs.  … (more)
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1 vote | richestrada | Apr 6, 2009 |
This book addresses a topic critical to America's future, and it could be understood by the average reader. Levin makes his conservative stance transparent (as does the introduction by Rush Limbaugh and afterword by Edwin Meese). While I'm not convinced he would relegate so much to the states if current law swayed more toward his own moral views, he distinguishes between criticism and opinion sufficiently for his book to remain instructive. His main point is that the history of the Supreme Court is a constant trend toward activism over originalism. This trend violates the intent of the Constitution. It has led to increasingly complex law, supplanting the role of the legislature with a web of implications set by the courts. Rather than define the law, activist rulings continually create a need to refine the law and open up whole new paths of precedent triggered by the introduction of new concepts. For example, the 14th ammendment can be violated by a "compelling interest." I found it interesting to learn how much of the Supreme Court's expanded role was spawned from cases involving the 14th ammendment. It was leveraged in key decisions related to abortion, affirmative action, immigration, and elections. (If Republicans regret the decisions resulting from the 14th ammendment, they should note their party is solely responsible for it's wording. Amend with care.) Levin's adherence to principle breaks down somewhat in his chapter about the Court's rulings about enemy combatants. "There has been no widespread detention of U.S. citizens - only two, to the best of my knowledge - and only after an extensive vetting process" (p.122). He also seems to justify the Bush administration's steps in this matter on the basis that they aren't as extreme as the wartime detentions ordered by Lincoln and Roosevelt. Despite these criticisms, I found Levin's arguments generally understandable, principled, and balanced. He himself criticizes the Bush administration for signing McCain-Feingold. His closing chapter explores potential solutions to activism, including impeachment, Congressional limits on judicial scope, and changes to confirmation processes and tenure.

Those who support the activist rulings, do so only because they agree with the prevailing winds. When the direction shifts, they will, no doubt, decry expansive rulings as violating the appropriate role of the court. A judiciary fixed on original principles would preserve a proper balance of powers, while leaving specific laws to be written where laws should be written. ( )
  jpsnow | May 25, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark R. Levinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Edwin Meese IIIAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Limbaugh, RushIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For the Levin family: my wife, Kendall; our children, Lauren and Chase; my parents, Norma and Jack; and my brothers, Doug and Rob.
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America's founding fathers had a clear and profound vision for what they wanted our federal government to be.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A modern conservative classic." - Sean Hannity "Men in Black couldn't be more timely or important....a tremendously important and compelling book." - Rush Limbaugh  "One of the finest books on the Constitution and the judiciary I've read in a long time....There is no better source for understanding and grasping the seriousness of this issue." - Edwin Meese III  "The Supreme Court has broken through the firewalls constructed by the framers to limit judicial power."                                                               "America's founding fathers had a clear and profound vision for what they wanted our federal government to be," says constitutional scholar Mark R. Levin in his explosive book, Men in Black. "But today, our out-of-control Supreme Court imperiously strikes down laws and imposes new ones to suit its own liberal whims--robbing us of our basic freedoms and the values on which our country was founded." In Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America, Levin exposes countless examples of outrageous Supreme Court abuses, from promoting racism in college admissions, expelling God and religion from the public square, forcing states to confer benefits on illegal aliens, and endorsing economic socialism to upholding partial-birth abortion, restraining political speech, and anointing terrorists with rights.  Levin writes: "Barely one hundred justices have served on the United States Supreme Court. They're unelected, they're virtually unaccountable, they're largely unknown to most Americans, and they serve for life...in many ways the justices are more powerful than members of Congress and the president.... As few as five justices can and do dictate economic, cultural, criminal, and security policy for the entire nation." In Men in Black, you will learn:   How the Supreme Court protects virtual child pornography and flag burning as forms of free speech but denies teenagers the right to hear an invocation mentioning God at a high school graduation ceremony because it might be "coercive." How a former Klansman and virulently anti-Catholic Supreme Court justice inserted the words "wall of separation" between church and state in a 1947 Supreme Court decision--a phrase repeated today by those who claim to stand for civil liberty. How Justice Harry Blackmun, a one-time conservative appointee and the author of Roe v. Wade, was influenced by fan mail much like an entertainer or politician, which helped him to evolve into an ardent activist for gay rights and against the death penalty. How the Supreme Court has dictated that illegal aliens have a constitutional right to attend public schools, and that other immigrants qualify for welfare benefits, tuition assistance, and even civil service jobs.  

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