The 1950s "Red Scare" marks one of the stormiest periods in U.S. Supreme Court history. Robert M. Lichtman provides the definitive history of the high court's decisions in every one of the "Communist" cases it decided, placing each within the context of the time and revealing the broad range and impact of McCarthy-era repression.
Making extensive use of the justices' papers, Lichtman examines the dynamics of the Court's changes in direction, from the Vinson Court's rubber-stamping of government action against subversives to the Warren Court's more liberal rulings and the subsequent retreat led by Felix Frankfurter. Lichtman's account details the Court's surprising vulnerability to popular and political attack and reveals the behind-the-scenes relationships and rivalries among justices. At the same time, he recounts in devastating detail the injuries inflicted by McCarthyism on individuals and the nation.
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"In its vivid portrayal of the Court's attempts to balance liberty and order under severe pressures, The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression tells the story of a Court in turmoil that still managed to lay the foundation for the protection of civil rights."--Harvard Law Review
"A masterful piece of painstaking legal research and measured analysis. Lichtman demonstrates dramatically the vulnerability of our most revered national institutions in the face of strong political and popular pressures, while at the same time revealing an impressive array of legal maneuvers judges can use to stave off permanent wounds to our constitutional heritage."--Patricia M. Wald, former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (ret.)
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