Closed Chambers Review

The First Eyewitness Account of the Epic Struggles Inside the Supreme Court Closed Chambers: The First Eyewitness Account of the Epic Struggles Inside the Supreme Court by Edward P. Lazarus
My review
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
It took me a while to get through all of “Closed Chambers,” but I am glad that I did. The book, even though it was written in 1998 and is mainly about the Supreme Court’s 1988 term, covers issues that are still timely and relevant. With hearings starting this week on Samuel Alito, this review comes at a good time.
The book covers a lot of Supreme Court history, particularly “how we got where we are today.” It opened my eyes to how the Court works, and how single “centrist” Justices can carve out new areas of law whenever the Court is sharply divided on an issue. Edward Lazarus is especially critical of the hypocrisy of the Justices, who stand by stare decisis (the principle of being bound by precedent, even if it was wrongly decided) when it suits them, while discarding the principle when they don’t like the previous decision.
This book is definitely worth a read, as it will teach you a lot about the inner workings of the Court, and why decisions like Roe v. Wade are still in question even though they were decided 30 years ago (I’ll give you a preview: the Roe v. Wade decision was, at best, a legal stretch which was poorly written as far as its justification in the law). I give it 3.5 stars.
Next up, I’ve already started An Embarrassment of Mangoes.
I’m going to continue the 12 Books project again this year, because I enjoyed it so much last year, and I have a lot of books on my list to read yet again. I managed to read 17 books last year, so I’ll see if I can top that this year.

1 thought on “Closed Chambers Review”

  1. I’ve started a book project of my own…I’m going for 2 per month (+1) for a total of 25 for the year. I’ve got my reading list on my new site (which, you should check out, by the way.


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