Tue October 16, 2012
"The Obama White House and the Supreme Court"
On this edition of ST, we chat by phone with the noted legal expert Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker, a senior legal analyst at CNN, and a bestselling author. Toobin's newest book is "The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court." It's been getting high marks from reviewers everywhere. As was noted in USA Today: "[This is a] polished and thoughtful dissection of the current Court --- led by Chief Justice John Roberts --- and its high-stakes relationship to the Obama administration. Toobin brings full authority to this project. Deeply versed in Supreme Court lore and legal subtlety, he draws upon first-hand interviews with the justices and their clerks in crafting an anxious tale of the Roberts court, casting its major rulings as looming symbols of judicial philosophy and will. After reading this wise book, one can fairly wonder whether the court, at its conservative core, embodies a brave corrective for the overreach of federal policy, or amounts to a partisan plot against America." Moreover, as was noted in a starred review of this work in Booklist: "From the awkward swearing-in of President Obama by Chief Justice Roberts to Obama's caustic reaction to the Citizens United ruling to Roberts' support of Obama's health-care law, the tumultuous relationship between the administration and the Supreme Court has been increasingly evident.... Legal analyst Toobin offers a vivid inside look at the personalities and politics behind the fractious relationship.... Among the highlights: Ginsburg's scathing dissent on a ruling against a claim of pay disparity, in which she urged congressional action; Souter's caustic dissent in Citizens United that questioned Roberts' integrity; and Scalia's bitter disappointment in Roberts' decision on the health-care law. [This book offers] a revealing look at the ideological battle between the White House and the Supreme Court." Also on today's ST, Ian Shoales, our pop culture commentator, is wondering about a recent and widespread shoplifting outbreak related to, of all things, Tide laundry detergent.