Most people think that the Supreme Court has a rough balance between left and right. This is a myth; in fact the justices once considered right-wing have now taken the mantle of the Court’s moderates, and the liberal element has all but disappeared. Most people also think that judicial activism is solely a liberal movement. This is also a myth; since William Rehnquist was confirmed as Chief Justice in 1986, the Supreme Court has engaged in an unprecedented record of judicial activism. These two factors are feeding a movement to restore what many conservatives call “The Constitution in Exile,” by which they mean the Constitution as it existed before the Roosevelt administration. Radicals in Robes explains what the restoration of this constitutional vision would mean. It would mean the end of the FCC, the SEC, the EPA, and every other federal agency that enacts regulations that have the force of law. It would mean that the clause of the First Amendment that says that Congress may make no law “respecting an establishment of religion” would be turned on its head. Marriage laws and many other familiar areas of modern life are all in the sights of this conservative movement. Radicals in Robes takes judicial philosophy out of the law schools and shows what it means when it intersects partisan politics. It pulls away the veil of rhetoric from a dangerous and radical right-wing movement and issues a strong and passionate warning about what conservatives really intend. One of the most respected legal theorists in the country, Cass R. Sunstein here issues a warning of compelling concern to us all.
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