Five Chiefs

A Supreme Court Memoir

Stevens, John Paul

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Five Chiefs
Former Justice Stevens discusses the accomplishments of the earliest Chief Justices and the role of Chief Justice, profiles each of the Chief Justices he knew personally and their most important cases, and describes his relationship with each.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 031619980X
Branch Call Number: 347.732634 S8448f 2011
Characteristics: vii, 292 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Stevens served on the Court longer than all but two other justices in American history. This may explain why he approached the topic as he did—a memoir of the Court through the five Chief Justices with which he worked over a very long career as a lawyer, law clerk, and, beginning in 1975, Associa... Read More »

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Apr 29, 2013
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

A bizarre book, especially in light of their Bush v. Gore decision, and Citizens United decision (always with Ted Olson as the attorney on the bad side). The Supreme Court denied the Florida recount because they held that American citizens don't have the constitutional right to vote.

Apr 29, 2013
  • pokano rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Chatty legal memoir by Justice Stephens about the five Chief Justices with whom he had dealings. Occasionally the discussion gets into obtuse principles of constitutional law. But there are other attractions to this book: for example, who knew that there are spitoons behind the US Supreme Court bench? Or that Justices Stephens and Breyer agreed that the Bush Campaign's application to stay the Florida recount was so frivolous that the Court would never grant it? Justice Stephens manages to roundly criticize some of the decisions by some in the conservative wing of the Court without resorting to name calling. And he didn't especially like Chief Justice Rehnquist's gold stripes, but confirms what other justices have said: that Rehnquist was a very efficient Chief Justice who was fair to all wings of the Court. A good read for lawyers and laypersons interested in the workings of the Court


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