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Summer Book Report: Check out Breyer's New Book and 17 Others

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on August 12, 2015 11:59 AM

For Supreme Court fans, and voracious readers, now's a great time to step into a book store. Richard Collins, of SCOTUSblog, recently put together a list of 18 new and forthcoming SCOTUS-focused tomes, from traditional biographies, to discussions of the legal system generally, to Court histories, political jeremiads, and academic reports.

Oh, and did we mention that Justice Breyer has a new book planned? His fourth since taking the bench, the new book is focused on American law and its connection to the rest of the world. Here's a preview of it and several of the others soon to be hot off the presses.

Justice Breyer the Diplomat

Justice Breyer has never been one to shy away from international engagement. He gives interviews to the French press, en françias, about his experiences reading Proust. His books -- he has nine in total -- are available in Chinese and Italian. His wife descends from Anglo-Irish aristocracy. In sum, he's a worldly guy.

His new book argues that the Supreme Court should be worldly as well. In The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, Breyer argues that, in an ever more interconnected world, the Court must make sure its rulings "work in harmony" with the laws of the rest of the world. The book will be released mid-September.

Histories of the Court

The new crop of SCOTUS-lit includes a large number of court histories. Wendell Bird covers the early Court's handling of free speech and national security through the Sedition Act of 1798. Adam Cohen's Imbeciles looks at the Supreme Court's past treatment of eugenics and sterilization, including its deplorable ruling in Buck v. Bell allowing sterilization of "undesirables." Both of those books will be available in early 2016.

Closer to publication is Showdown, Wil Haygood's look at the nomination hearings for Thurgood Marshall and his rise to the High Court. Melvin Urofsky's new book, Dissent and the Supreme Court, examines the roles dissents in "the nation's constitutional dialogue."

Biographies of the Justices and Other Treats

There are plenty of new biographies to go around, as well. We have new books on the life and times of the Notorious RBG, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., John Paul Stevens, and a book called Sisters in Law about Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

If you want a more issue-specific take on the Court, two new books will have you covered. Stephen Gottlieb's Unfit for Democracy promises a critical review of the Roberts Court. That should pair well with Plutocrats United, a new look at campaign finance law and the High Court.

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