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Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court
From Brandeis to Kagan
David G. Dalin

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life

2017 • 384 pp. 24 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Jewish Studies

$35.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-238-0

$29.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0014-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“I thought I knew a lot about the Supreme Court’s eight Jewish justices, since I have known six of them personally. But I learned so much more from David Dalin's... [continued in Reviews below]”—Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law,

The first history of the eight Jewish men and women who have served or who currently serve as justices of the Supreme Court

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court examines the lives, legal careers, and legacies of the eight Jews who have served or who currently serve as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

David Dalin discusses the relationship that these Jewish justices have had with the presidents who appointed them, and given the judges’ Jewish background, investigates the antisemitism some of the justices encountered in their ascent within the legal profession before their appointment, as well as the role that antisemitism played in the attendant political debates and Senate confirmation battles.

Other topics and themes include the changing role of Jews within the American legal profession and the views and judicial opinions of each of the justices on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the death penalty, the right to privacy, gender equality, and the rights of criminal defendants, among other issues.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“I thought I knew a lot about the Supreme Court’s eight Jewish justices, since I have known six of them personally. But I learned so much more from David Dalin's brilliant and readable account of their very different lives and connections to their Jewish heritage. A must-read for anyone interested in Jewish, American, or legal history.” —Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law

“Its accessible style, abundance of illuminating anecdotes, and helpful synthesis of an extensive scholarly literature will make it valuable to historians of the American Jewish experience.”—Jewish Review of Books

“An unprecedented assessment of all eight of the legal superstars.”
Times of Israel

Dalin . . . offers a more wide-ranging analysis of Jewish Supreme Court justices compared to recent biographies and autobiographies. . . .Highly recommended.”

“David Dalin has given us a fine one-volume summary of the lives, careers, and thoughts of the eight men and women who represent the evolving ‘enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation.’”—
Contemporary Jewry

“Absorbing. . . .[The book] is well written, based on a wide reading of mainly secondary sources, and will appeal to readers interested in American Jewish history, the history of the Supreme Court, particularly its demographic transformation, and American ethnic history. Perhaps it will encourage other scholars to investigate the Jewish penetration of other bastions of the American elite, such as the great New York City banks and law firms, Ivy League universities, and the highest rungs of leading corporations.”—

“An important, engaging, and concise resource for any reader interested in Jewish, American or legal history.”

The American Jewish Archives Journal

“This landmark collective biography of the Jewish men and women who have served on our nation’s highest court reminds us that, long before the twenty-first century, conservatives and liberals battled over the limits of free speech, the rule of reason, and even fake news. David Dalin’s Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court is that all-too-rare history that serves up lessons from the past that speak to our moment in time.”—Pamela S. Nadell, president of the Association for Jewish Studies, and Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University

“Although Jewish justices have played a central role on the modern Supreme Court, David Dalin’s book is the first to offer a comprehensive series of portraits of the entire group, from Louis Brandeis to Elena Kagan. With memorable details and gripping narrative, Dalin provides an invaluable account of the contributions of these remarkable justices, who continue to shape our understanding of the Constitution today.”—Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO, National Constitution Center, and author of Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet

“The scholarship behind this work is impressive. The writing is authoritative, and the research and knowledge displayed are extraordinary. . . . this will be the go-to book regarding Jews and the Supreme Court.”—Gil Troy, professor of history, McGill University, and author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s

“David Dalin’s book is a fascinating history of American law, of Jewish accomplishment in the American legal field, and of the lives of the Jewish Justices who have served on the Supreme Court.”—Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple (Los Angeles); author of David: The Divided Heart

“David Dalin has provided an engaging and well written book on the eight Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court. It will be essential reading for students of Supreme Court history, for students of American Jewish history, and for all those who think about the relationship between Jews and the legal profession. Dalin offers a unique perspective on important aspects of American history.”Marshall Breger, Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law at Catholic University


Runner-up for the National Jewish Book Award, biography category (2017)

DAVID G. DALIN, a historian and rabbi, is the author, coauthor or editor of eleven books, including Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience (coauthored with Jonathan D. Sarna) and The Presidents of the United States and the Jews. His articles and book reviews have appeared in a variety of publications, including American Jewish History, Commentary, Modern Judaism, the Weekly Standard, the American Jewish Year Book, and the Jewish Review of Books.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:30 -0500