Sunday, October 10, 2004

Books on Supreme Court Justices

What is most interesting about this Washington Post series on Justice Clarence Thomas is that the authors apparently have a biographical book on Justice Thomas that will be coming out soon. From the description:
This series of articles on Justice Clarence Thomas is the result of more than two years of reporting by Washington Post staff writers Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher. The two reporters published a Post magazine article about Thomas in August 2002. Their book on Thomas will be published next year by Doubleday.
I don't know of any full-length biographies of any of the other Supreme Court Justices (i.e., starting at childhood or before). There's one book that describes the rise of John Paul Stevens, another that describes Ruth Bader Ginsburg's career at the ACLU. There are also several books that analyze Scalia's or Rehnquist's jurisprudence, but they are not (as far as I've seen) biographical at all.

By contrast, there have already been three biographies of Justice Thomas (of widely varying quality, I should add): One by Andrew Peyton Thomas, one by Ken Foskett, and one by John Greenya. In addition, Thomas is reportedly penning an autobiography.

So if the new book is biographical as well, there will soon be 5 biographies of Justice Thomas alone, far more than of all the other 8 Justices put together. Maybe that's to be expected. After all, the story of how someone overcame the awful immorality of segregation is bound to be compelling. By contrast, Justice Souter: The Life and Times of a New Hampshire Bachelor would likely be a less dramatic tale.

But what about a few of the other Justices? Scalia seems like a colorful fellow, and I wonder what his upbringing was like. Or what about Ginsburg or O'Connor, both of whom did well in law school, but initially had trouble finding legal work due to discrimination? Isn't there an interesting biography there somewhere?


Blogger Mr. Poon said...

Would Ben Affleck star as Justice Souter in the Lifetime Network adaptation of Justice Souter: The Life and Times of a New Hampshire Bachelor?

If so, I'd watch. I guess.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justice O'Connor also has writted about her childhood.

available at Amazon

3:14 PM  

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