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The Radicalization of the Republican Party and Its Capture of the Court
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In DISSENT, award-winning investigative journalist Jackie Calmes brings readers closer to the truth of who Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is, where he came from, and how he and the Republican party at large managed to secure one of the highest seats of power in the land.
Kavanaugh's rise to the justice who solidified conservative control of the supreme court is a story of personal achievement, but also a larger, political tale: of the Republican Party's movement over four decades toward the far right, and its parallel campaign to dominate the government's judicial branch as well as the other two.
And Kavanaugh uniquely personifies this history. Fourteen years before reaching the Supreme Court, during a three-year fight for a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin would say to Kavanaugh, "It seems that you are the Zelig or Forrest Gump of Republican politics. You show up at every scene of the crime."
Featuring revelatory new reporting and exclusive interviews, DISSENT is a harrowing look into the highest echelons of political power in the United States, and a captivating survey of the people who will do anything to have it.
—Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, New York Times bestselling authors of THE BROKEN BRANCH and IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS
"Jackie Calmes persuasively describes how, with a little luck and more than a little duplicity, Republicans have virtually assured a conservative-dominated Supreme Court for the foreseeable future. The focus is on the nomination battle over Brett Kavanaugh, a very smart and very partisan jurist with, as she details, 'a troubling pattern of shading the truth.' But the backdrop is the radicalization of the Republican Party over recent decades. DISSENT should be read by anyone who cares about the Supreme Court and, more broadly, a fair and honest political process."—Albert R. Hunt, Washington columnist, podcast host, and former bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News
“A scrupulous history of the Republican Party’s efforts to put a conservative 'lock' on the Supreme Court. [Calmes] lucidly and comprehensively explains the mechanics of the ‘ascendant conservative legal movement.’"—Publishers Weekly