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Judicial Branch

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  1. 27.7 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie Savage’s penetrating investigation of the Obama presidency and the national security stateBarack Obama campaigned on a promise of change from George W. Bush’s “global war on terror.” Yet from indefinite detention and drone strikes to surveillance and military tribunals, Obama ended up continuing—and in some cases expanding—many policies he inherited. What happened? In Power Wars, Charlie Savage looks inside the Obama administration’s national security legal and policy team in a way that no one has before. Based on exclusive interviews with more than 150 current and former officials and access to previously unreported documents, he lays bare their internal deliberations, including emotional debates over the fates of detainees held on torture-tainted evidence and acts of war that lacked congressional authorization. He tells the inside stories of how Obama came to order the killing of an American citizen, preside over an unprecedented crackdown on leaks, and keep a then-secret National Security Agency program that collected records of every American’s phone calls.Savage also pieces together the first comprehensive history of how American surveillance secretly developed over the past thirty-five years, synthesizing recent revelations and filling in gaps with new reporting. And he provides lucid explanations of legal dilemmas in a way that non-lawyers can understand. Highlighted by new information about the pivotal aftermath to the failed Christmas underwear bombing and the planning for the Osama bin Laden raid, Savage’s own eyewitness reporting at Guantanamo, and detailed accounts of closed-door meetings at the highest levels of government, Power Wars equips readers to understand the legacy of Obama’s presidency.

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    Power Wars

    27.7 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 12.6 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    A fascinating account of how an increasingly globalized and interdependent world influences the deliberations of America’s highest court, by the sitting justice and author of Making Our Democracy Work and Active Liberty. In this original, far-reaching and timely book, Justice Stephen Breyer examines the work of SCOTUS in an increasingly interconnected world, a world in which all sorts of public and private activity—from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade—obliges the Court to consider and understand circumstances beyond America’s borders. At a time when ordinary citizens may book international lodging directly through online sites like Airbnb, it has become clear that judicial awareness can no longer stop at the water’s edge. To trace how foreign considerations have come to inform the thinking of the Court, Justice Breyer begins with that area of the law in which they have always figured prominently: national security in its Constitutional dimension—how should the Court balance this imperative with others, chiefly the protection of basic liberties, in its review of presidential and congressional actions? He goes on to show how the Court has also been obliged to determine the application of American law in international contexts in a great many more everyday matters, from copyright to domestic relations to the interpretation of international treaty obligations.

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    The Court and the World

    12.6 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.3 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    One of America’s greatest investigative reporters brings to life the gripping, no-holds-barred clash of two American titans: Robert Kennedy and his nemesis Jimmy Hoffa. From 1957 to 1964, Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa channeled nearly all of their considerable powers into destroying each other. Kennedy’s battle with Hoffa burst into the public consciousness with the 1957 Senate Rackets Committee hearings and intensified when his brother named him attorney general in 1961. RFK put together a “Get Hoffa” squad within the Justice Department, devoted to destroying one man. But Hoffa, with nearly unlimited Teamster funds, was not about to roll over. Drawing upon a treasure trove of previously secret and undisclosed documents, James Neff has crafted a brilliant, heart-pounding epic of crime and punishment, a saga of venom and relentlessness, and two men willing to do anything to demolish each other.

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    Vendetta by James Neff

    Vendetta

    10.3 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.2 hrs • 3/24/2015 • Unabridged

    Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In Injustices, Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people’s elected representatives, and it has bent the arc of American history away from justice.

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    Injustices

    10.2 hrs • 3/24/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 14.5 hrs • 1/20/2015 • Unabridged

    An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee Since 2002 Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although his release was ordered by a federal judge, the US government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity, Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into US custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir—terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, Guantánamo Diary is a document of immense historical importance.

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    Guantánamo Diary

    Edited by Larry Siems
    Read by Peter Ganim
    14.5 hrs • 1/20/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 12.5 hrs • 6/17/2014 • Unabridged

    The riveting inside story of the Supreme Court’s landmark rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8—by the two lawyers who argued the case On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California’s discriminatory Proposition 8, thereby reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson—who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore—joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day. As allies, they tell the fascinating story of the five-year struggle to win the right for gays to marry, from Proposition 8’s adoption by voters in 2008 to its defeat before the highest court in the land in Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013. Boies and Olson guide listeners through the legal framing of the case, making crystal clear the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection in support of marriage equality while explaining, with intricacy, the basic human truths they set out to prove when the duo put state-sanctioned discrimination on trial. Redeeming the Dream offers listeners an authoritative, dramatic, and up-close account of the most important civil rights issue—fought and won—since Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia.

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    Redeeming the Dream by David Boies, Theodore B. Olson

    Redeeming the Dream

    12.5 hrs • 6/17/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 3.4 hrs • 4/22/2014 • Unabridged

    For the first time ever, a retired Supreme Court justice offers a manifesto on how the Constitution needs to change.  By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. Six Amendments is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and well being of American citizens.  Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens’ own Supreme Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, Six Amendments is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.

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    Six Amendments

    3.4 hrs • 4/22/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 13.4 hrs • 5/7/2013 • Unabridged

    This nonfiction legal thriller traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history to justice. Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America’s electric power. But wealth and influence weren’t enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company’s mines—mines in which scores died unnecessarily. As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens; he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship’s tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the US Supreme Court and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law. The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it’s true, it’s scarier than fiction.

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    The Price of Justice by Laurence Leamer

    The Price of Justice

    13.4 hrs • 5/7/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.1 hrs • 3/5/2013 • Unabridged

    From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land. Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices, who also served as trial judges, traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury v. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress. With unparalleled insight and unique perspective, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of justices in history. We get a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next—from the seating arrangements at court lunches to the fiercely competitive basketball games played in the court building’s top-floor gymnasium, the so-called “highest court in the land.” Wise, candid, and assured, Out of Order is a rich offering of inspiring stories about one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers.

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    Out of Order

    7.1 hrs • 3/5/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.3 hrs • 12/12/2012 • Unabridged

    Charged with the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court has the awesome power to strike down laws enacted by our elected representatives. Why does the public accept the Court’s decisions as legitimate and follow them, even when those decisions are highly unpopular? What must the Court do to maintain the public’s faith? How can it help make our democracy work? In this groundbreaking book, Justice Stephen Breyer tackles these questions and more, offering an original approach to interpreting the Constitution that judges, lawyers, and scholars will look to for many years to come. Breyer delivers an impassioned argument for the proper role of America’s highest judicial body and examines historic and contemporary decisions by the Court, highlighting the rulings that have bolstered public confidence as well as the missteps that have triggered distrust.

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    Making Our Democracy Work

    10.3 hrs • 12/12/12 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    12.2 hrs • 9/18/2012 • Unabridged

    From the moment John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, blundered through the Oath of Office at Barack Obama’s inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been confrontational. Both men are young, brilliant, charismatic, charming, determined to change the course of the nation—and completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue. One is radical; one essentially conservative. The surprise is that Obama is the conservative—a believer in incremental change, compromise, and pragmatism over ideology. Roberts—and his allies on the Supreme Court—seek to overturn decades of precedent: in short, to undo the ultimate victory FDR achieved in the New Deal. This ideological war will crescendo during the 2011–2012 term, in which several landmark cases are on the Supreme Court’s docket—most crucially, a challenge to Obama’s controversial health-care legislation. With four new justices joining the Supreme Court in just five years, including Obama’s appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, this is a dramatically—and historically—different Supreme Court, playing for the highest of stakes. No one is better positioned to chronicle this dramatic tale than Jeffrey Toobin, whose prize-winning bestseller The Nine laid bare the inner workings and conflicts of the Supreme Court in meticulous and entertaining detail. As the nation prepares to vote for president in 2012, the future of the Supreme Court will also be on the ballot.

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    The Oath

    12.2 hrs • 9/18/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 9.8 hrs • 7/9/2009 • Unabridged

    For decades, James MacGregor Burns has been one of the great masters of the study of power and leadership in America. Now he turns his eye to an institution of government that he believes has become more powerful—and more partisan—than the Founding Fathers ever intended: the Supreme Court. Much as we would like to believe that the Court remains aloof from ideological politics, Packing the Court reveals how often justices behave like politicians in robes. Few Americans appreciate that the framers of the Constitution envisioned a much more limited role for the Supreme Court than it has come to occupy. In keeping with the Founders’ desire for balanced government, the Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court the power of judicial review—that is, the ability to veto acts of Congress and the president. Yet throughout its history, the Supreme Court has blocked congressional laws and, as a result, often derailed progressive reform. The term packing the court is usually applied to FDR’s failed attempt to expand the size of the Court after a conservative bench repeatedly overturned key elements of the New Deal. But Burns shows that FDR was not the only president to confront a high court that seemed bent on fighting popular mandates for change, nor was he the only one to try to manipulate the bench for political ends. Many of our most effective leaders—from Jefferson to Jackson, Lincoln to FDR—have clashed with powerful justices who refused to recognize the claims of popularly elected majorities. Burns contends that these battles have threatened the nation’s welfare in the most crucial moments of our history, from the Civil War to the Great Depression—and may do so again. Given the erratic and partisan nature of Supreme Court appointments, Burns believes we play political roulette with the Constitution with each election cycle. Now, eight years after Bush v. Gore, ideological justices have the tightest grip on the Court in recent memory. Drawing on more than two centuries of American history, Packing the Court offers a clear-eyed critique of judicial rule and a bold proposal to rein in the Supreme Court’s power over the elected branches.

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    Packing the Court

    9.8 hrs • 7/9/09 • Unabridged
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  13. 7.5 hrs • 9/20/2007 • Unabridged

    A scathing exposé of the judges and lawyers who put criminals’ rights ahead of victims’ rights When Wendy Murphy was a young prosecutor, she learned that the deck is stacked in favor of criminal defendants. Between their arrest and (potential) conviction, murderers, rapists, and drug dealers get more than a fair shake—they get an unfair advantage, often at the expense of their victims.  In many states, for instance, defendants can subpoena a victim’s private medical and counseling files, without any justification. They can threaten victims with brutal cross-examinations if they dare to testify. They can put on “dog and pony show” defenses that have nothing to do with the truth—and even lie under oath with virtually no risk of being prosecuted for perjury.  These kinds of injustices make Murphy fighting mad. She’s made it her mission to help the victims who get the least protection from our twisted legal system. And in her first book, she guides readers through one horror story after another about judges and lawyers who bend over backward to let the worst offenders go free.  You’ll meet judges who unapologetically declare that they care more about their liberal ideology than about the pain and suffering of abuse victims. Judges who let child molesters walk free because they’re “too frail” to go to prison. Defense attorneys who take big money from wealthy child molesters, then twist the Bill of Rights beyond recognition. And even a few prosecutors who go easy on criminals for their own selfish reasons.  Murphy’s true stories will shock you, but they will also inspire you to join the fight for a more rational system. This is an important book that is sure to infuriate America’s legal establishment.

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    And Justice for Some

    7.5 hrs • 9/20/07 • Unabridged
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  14. 5.6 hrs • 8/3/2007 • Unabridged

    This five CD package includes audio from the original oral arguments presented in the Roe v Wade case by attorneys Weddington, Floyd, and Flowers as well as commentary and interviews from the National Right to Life Committee cofounders, Dr. Carolyn Gerster and Dr. Mildred Jefferson. It also features wellknown authors Randy Alcorn, Dr. William Brennan, and Dr. Gerard Magill, with perinatologist Dr. James Thorp and photographer Michael Clancy.

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    Compelling Interest

    5.6 hrs • 8/3/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 12.3 hrs • 8/3/2007 • Unabridged

    Is a fetus a person? Is “pro-choice” really a neutral position?  In the forty years since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the abortion debate has been highly charged and politicized. Questions like these—and passionate but widely varying answers—have become the common language of the public dialogue on this issue. Yet behind the scenes of this historic case are other intriguing questions: How did the Supreme Court come to be involved in the abortion debate? Was language manipulated to affect the outcome? What was the moral basis underlying the decision? In Compelling Interest, author Roger Resler draws on original sources, including the actual transcripts for oral arguments, the majority and minority opinions, and comments by the lawyers and others involved to take a careful look at the real story behind the historic Roe v. Wade decision.  This carefully researched book speaks with a thought-provoking, balanced voice that stands out from the usual partisan rhetoric on the topic.

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    Compelling Interest

    12.3 hrs • 8/3/07 • Unabridged
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  16. 3.6 hrs • 9/13/2005 • Unabridged

    A highly respected associate justice of the United States Supreme Court since 1994, Stephen Breyer delivers a lucid and persuasive declaration that “active liberty”—the participation of American citizens in the process of government—should be a guiding principle of our nation. In this exceedingly polarized time, with the high court facing some of its most controversial issues, Active Liberty is a refreshing reminder of the purpose of government and role of the American citizenry.

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    Active Liberty

    3.6 hrs • 9/13/05 • Unabridged
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