Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Supreme Power by Ted Stewart

Supreme Power: 7 Pivotal Supreme Court Decisions that Had a Major Impact on America, by Ted Stewart
2017, 256p, Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Bestselling author Ted Stewart explains how the Supreme Court and its nine appointed members now stand at a crucial point in their power to hand down momentous and far-ranging decisions. Today’s Court affects every major area of American life, from health care to civil rights, from abortion to marriage.

This fascinating book reveals the complex history of the Court as told through seven pivotal decisions. These cases originally seemed narrow in scope, but they vastly expanded the interpretation of law. Such is the power of judicial review to make sweeping, often unforeseen, changes in American society by revising the meaning of our Constitution.

Each chapter presents an easy-to-read brief on the case and explains what the decisions mean and how the Court ruling, often a 5-4 split, had long-term impact. For example, in Lochner v. New York, a widely accepted turn-of-the-twentieth--century New York State law limited excessive overtime for bakery workers. That law was overturned by the Court based on the due process clause of the Constitution. The very same precedents, Stewart points out, were used by the Court seventy years later and expanded to a new right to privacy in Roe v. Wade, making abortion legal in the nation.

Filled with insight, commentary, and compelling stories of ordinary citizens coming to the judiciary for remedy for the problems of their day, Supreme Power illustrates the magnitude of the Court’s power to interpret the Constitution and decide the law of the land.

As a teenager, I thought history was so boring and realized later that it was memorizing names and dates that I actually hated. I love learning history through stories! And it's a bonus when an author can break down complex cases and issues and present them in a way that is (somewhat) easy to understand. This is one of those books that I got a lot out of the first time I read it and feel that I would get even more out of reading it again.

Throughout the book, the author presents his case on how the judicial branch has shaped, molded, and fashioned the world we live in today. He leaves it up to the individual to decide whether their decisions were good or bad. I enjoyed reading his perspective on what happened in each of these cases. I liked the way he ended each case--with a summary and thought-provoking questions on how that decision impacts us today. This book is well-written and well-researched and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about our judicial system.

About the Author:

Ted Stewart was appointed as a United States District Court Judge in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Governor Micheal O. Leavitt, as executive director of the State Department of Natural Resources, as a member and chairman of the Public Service Commission, and as chief of staff to Congressman Jim Hansen. He has been a visiting professor at two state universities, teaching courses in law and public policy. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points That Saved the World.


sherry fundin said...

This sounds great. I like that he gives a summary at the end of each chapter.

sherry @ fundinmental

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