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review 2018-04-22 21:26
Review of Without Precedent by Joel Richard Paul
Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times - Joel Richard Paul

I had always wanted to read more about the most important Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and this book was very engaging. This biography of Marshall tells the story of a fascinating historical figure who, for whatever reason, seems to get short thrift in the pantheon of our founding fathers. He was close with Washington, a cousin of Jefferson, Secretary of State and then Chief Justice (even at the same time for a month) for Adams, a state leader and legislator for Virginia, an important supporter of the Constitution during the ratification process - Marshall was a little bit like the Forest Gump of the Revolutionary Era. His decisions on the Supreme Court made the Court an equal branch and established our understanding of how the judiciary works under the Constitution.


My favorite part of the book, or at least the part where I learned the most, was during Marshall's time as a peace commissioner to France during the French Revolution and the XYZ Affair. This was the type of book where I kept learning new things and it made me want to find out more about many different aspects of that historical period. That is the highest compliment I can pay a work of history.

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review 2018-04-16 04:25
A second chance at a new life, with a little spanking
Sheriff: His Town. His Laws. His Justice - Maggie Carpenter

This was a quick read with a little spanking. Cooper runs his town his way and yet is an honorable man. Violet's past was an intriguing one with Robin Hood tendencies. The trust and love that grows between these two is quick and forever. I loved their interactions and had moments of tears as stories were revealed. There are so many characters in town that it would be nice to visit here again.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-04-06 17:02
An informative but unsatisfying biography of the “Great Dissenter”
John Marshall Harlan: The Last Whig Justice - Loren P. Beth

Though often a lone dissenter from the prevailing legal thought of his time, the reputation of John Marshall Harlan has enjoyed considerable rehabilitation since his death.  Best known for his criticism of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, his opinions in that and other cases have come to be seen by many legal scholars as precursors to the liberal jurisprudence of the twentieth century.  Capping this new appreciation of Harlan’s work was Loren P. Beth’s biography of the Supreme Court justice, which offers an examination of both Harlan’s life and his jurisprudence.


Beth divides his analysis into three parts.  The first two are biographical and chronological, examining his life both before and on the Court.  Much of the information about his life before his selection to the court comes from reminisces written by Harlan and his wife Malvina, and Beth often includes large sections from them in his text.  The Harlan that emerges in these pages is an extremely political man, one who was active in the dramatic struggles of mid-19th century politics.  Starting as a Whig, he drifted in the unstable Kentucky party political environment before finally becoming a Republican in 1868.  Though unsuccessful in two campaigns for the governorship of Kentucky, Harlan’s efforts on behalf of the party in his state helped make him a national political figure, leading to his nomination to the Court in 1877.


The second part of the book, which looks at Harlan’s family life, his relationships with his justices, and his role in the politics surrounding the Court, serves as a useful bridge to the final section, which addresses his jurisprudence.  Here Beth analyzes his decisions by topic, grouping them into categories so as to identify the underlying legal philosophy that collectively they reveal.  While these chapters are informative, they do not succeed in Beth’s goal, as illustrated by his subtitle, of demonstrating that Harlan’s decisions reflected Whig political ideology, nor does the author reconcile the many inconsistencies and contradictions that existed between the Harlan’s life and his jurisprudence.  This, along with the poor editing (there are numerous minor factual errors throughout the book, particularly regarding dates), make for the book that is a useful introduction to Harlan’s life but not the thorough analytical study that the justice deserves.

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review 2018-03-22 00:00
House of Justice: A Short Horror Story
House of Justice: A Short Horror Story - Vincent Bivona Good idea, but it was so short that there was no time to get into the story at all before it was over.

A slightly longer version would fare much better, I think.
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text 2018-03-10 00:40
When you want to finish this
Batman & the Justice League, Tome 1 : - Rodolphe Gicquel,Shiori Teshirogi

And can't find it.  I remember where I had it last, and can't find it there.   Grrr.   I'll continue looking a little tonight, then forget it until I have less homework coming up.

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