The Most Dangerous Branch by David A. Kaplan audiobook

The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution

By David A. Kaplan
Read by Dan Woren

Random House Audio
16.58 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $25.00
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    ISBN: 9781984827104

In the bestselling tradition of The Nine and The Brethren, The Most Dangerous Branch takes us inside the secret world of the Supreme Court. David A. Kaplan, the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, shows how the justices subvert the role of the other branches of government—and how we’ve come to accept it at our peril. With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court has never before been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights. The Court is so crucial that many voters in 2016 made their choice based on whom they thought their presidential candidate would name to the Court. Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch—the key decision of his new administration. Brett Kavanaugh—replacing Kennedy—will be even more important, holding the swing vote over so much social policy. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?   Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and dozens of their law clerks, Kaplan provides fresh details about life behind the scenes at the Court – Clarence Thomas’s simmering rage, Antonin Scalia’s death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s celebrity, Breyer Bingo, the petty feuding between Gorsuch and the chief justice, and what John Roberts thinks of his critics.   Kaplan presents a sweeping narrative of the justices’ aggrandizement of power over the decades – from Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore to Citizens United, to rulings during the 2017-18 term. But the arrogance of the Court isn’t partisan: Conservative and liberal justices alike are guilty of overreach. Challenging conventional wisdom about the Court’s transcendent power, The Most Dangerous Branch is sure to rile both sides of the political aisle.

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Summary

Summary

In the bestselling tradition of The Nine and The Brethren, The Most Dangerous Branch takes us inside the secret world of the Supreme Court. David A. Kaplan, the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, shows how the justices subvert the role of the other branches of government—and how we’ve come to accept it at our peril.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court has never before been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights. The Court is so crucial that many voters in 2016 made their choice based on whom they thought their presidential candidate would name to the Court. Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch—the key decision of his new administration. Brett Kavanaugh—replacing Kennedy—will be even more important, holding the swing vote over so much social policy. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?
 
Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and dozens of their law clerks, Kaplan provides fresh details about life behind the scenes at the Court – Clarence Thomas’s simmering rage, Antonin Scalia’s death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s celebrity, Breyer Bingo, the petty feuding between Gorsuch and the chief justice, and what John Roberts thinks of his critics.
 
Kaplan presents a sweeping narrative of the justices’ aggrandizement of power over the decades – from Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore to Citizens United, to rulings during the 2017-18 term. But the arrogance of the Court isn’t partisan: Conservative and liberal justices alike are guilty of overreach. Challenging conventional wisdom about the Court’s transcendent power, The Most Dangerous Branch is sure to rile both sides of the political aisle.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

This is a book for our times. As the Supreme Court has become a focus of elections, confirmation battles and partisan decisions, The Most Dangerous Branch tells the story, in a compelling way, of the “triumphalism” of the justices, both liberal and conservative. It warns against the increasing power of what was supposed to be the least dangerous branch—nine unelected judges who allocate to themselves decision-making authority over issues that should be left to the elected branches. Read it and start worrying. Then demand change. ALAN DERSHOWITZ Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School and Author of The Case Against Impeaching Trump
David Kaplan has an inquiring mind and a lively style. He also has some incredible sources inside the Court who have helped him open a window on the inner workings of the most opaque branch of our government. At a moment when the Court’s future hangs in the balance because of the retirement of Justice Kennedy, this book is important, even urgent (and it has plenty of dish, too). DANIEL OKRENT author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
David Kaplan mixes the gifts of a colorful storyteller with the incisiveness of a first-class legal brief. Read this book for an original argument on a judicial power grab and to find out why Neil Gorsuch is ‘like an eight-year-old in a counter-revolutionary candy store.’ JONATHAN ALTER author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
Unafraid of the controversy he will certainly create, David Kaplan has written an important and provocative book about our nation’s least understood, and yet enormously powerful, branch of government. It’s a book that every citizen should read. DAVID BOIES Chairman, Boies Schiller Flexner and Author of Courting Justice
Kaplan spares the feelings of neither liberals nor conservatives in this provocative and timely account of how the Supreme Court evolved into something the founders wouldn’t recognize. H.W. BRANDS Jack S. Blanton Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Traitor to His Class and Reagan: The Life
With the voice of a gifted narrator and the insight of a relentless journalist, Kaplan lifts the veil on the Supreme Court. Through intimate portraits of the nine justices, explorations of their most consequential decisions, and a cinematic portrayal of the Court's central role in our politics, Kaplan makes a compelling case that the other branches have acquiesced to the Court’s power – and that the Court is indeed The Most Dangerous Branch. DANNY STRONG Co-creator of Empire; Screenwriter for Recount, Game Change, The Butler
“A fascinating look at the Court during one of its most important, and divisive, eras... a perfect primer for helping Americans understand how members of the court came to justify their excessive involvement in various controversial issues The Christian Science Monitor 
A fascinating book. CBS Morning News
Describe(s) the behind the scenes dealing that led to the appointment of the sitting Supreme Court . . . Presented at a level of granularity with which you may not be familiar.  It makes for engaging, if not reassuring, reading. NPR.org
Persuasively argu(es) that the court has lost its bearings. . . engaging, gossipy and often highly critical. . . [Kaplan] takes readers through a scathing tour of recent Supreme Court decisions. . .  A passionately argued and credible indictment of the court. Publisher's Weekly
Show[s] how the justices take and rule on cases that they have, in Kaplan’s view, no legitimate role in deciding, and on the basis of legal reasoning that only barely masks partisan goals.  The high-profile 5-to-4 opinions Kaplan highlights are deserving targets. The Washington Post
Kaplan’s critique of judicial power will resonate with the court’s critics on both right and left.” The Wall Street Journal
"Reminiscent of The Brethren… The National Law Journal
Incredible. First Mondays podcast (in partnership with ScotusBlog)
An informed discussion of a serious issue. Kirkus Reviews “An amazing amount of reporting about conversations and politics inside the Court
If Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings have inspired you to dig deeper into the intricacies of the nation’s highest court, look no further than a new book devoted to the subject… Kaplan writes in an engaging fashion throughout this detailed book…The Most Dangerous Branch couldn’t be better. Associated Press

Reviews

Reviews

by Ryan Paul Winn 5/15/2019
Overall Performance
Narration
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Tribal College Journal Review Excerpt

In The Most Dangerous Branch, David A. Kaplan chronicles how the Supreme Court has morphed from its unbiased charter into a partisan group whose power goes unchecked. Since 2010, the court has acquiesced to hearing zero cases on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms yet no fewer than 35 cases based on the First Amendment’s freedoms. The court has ruled that “corporations are people” in terms of election contributions, same-sex marriages are legal and protected by the Constitution, and bakers can deny cakes to would-be clients whose pursuit of happiness they disagree with. In reading Kaplan’s book, one can’t help but be leery of the court’s next decree, but also compelled to speak out about cases that matter.

Author

Author Bio: David A. Kaplan

Author Bio: David A. Kaplan

David A. Kaplan worked for twenty-five years at Newsweek and Fortune. A New York Times bestselling author, he is now a media consultant and teaches journalism and law at NYU.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 16.58
Audience: Adult
Language: English