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The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Courtby Peter Irons
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Irons introduces 16 Americans who had the courage and perseverance to pursue a belief in their constitutional rights all the way to the Surpreme Court. Their cases, decided by the Surpreme Court between 1940 and 1986, raise four major issues of our time — religion, race, protest, and privacy.
Cites sixteen landmark civil liberties cases and the individuals who challenged laws that they felt impinged upon their personal freedom and who took their battles to the nation's highest court of law.
An "extraordinary book reveal[ing] the live faces behind the masks of constitutional law; to read it is to understand the inner dynamics of law's outward development."—Laurence H. Tribe.
About the Author
Peter Irons is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of five previous award-winning books. The most recent, A People's History of the Supreme Court, was awarded the Silver Gavel Certificate of Merit by the American Bar Association.
Table of Contents
"Emotions Bubble and Tempers Flare"
1. Lillian Gobitis v. Minersville School District
I. "We Live by Symbols"
II. "Here Comes Jehovah!"
2. Gordon Hirabayashi v. United States
I. "A Jap 's a Jap"
II. "Am I an American?"
3. J.D. Shelley v. Louis Kraemer
I. "This Contract of Restrictions"
II. "I Ain't Moving Nowhere!"
4. Lloyd Barenblatt v. United States
I. "This Is Not a Court"
II. "All They Wanted Were Names!"
5. Daisy Bates v. Little Rock
I. "Let's Pop 'Em!"
II. "Stone This Time, Dynamite Next!"
6. Robert Mack Bell v. Maryland
I. "I'm at the Mercy of My Customers"
II. "Baptism by Fire"
7. Daniel Seeger v. United States
I. "A Truthful, Decent Young Citizen"
II. "Check Box Yes, Check Box No"
8. Barbara Elfbrandt v. Imogene Russell
I. "Those Whose Scruples Are the Most Sensitive"
II. "What We Were All About"
9. Susan Epperson v. Arkansas
I. "Somewhere in Heaven, John Scopes Is Smiling"
II. "Teaching in the Bible Belt"
10. Mary Beth Tinker v. Des Moines
I. "Take a Stand! That's What You're Here For!"
II. "I'm Going to Kill You!"
11. Dr. Jane Hodgson v. Minnesota
I. "I Couldn't Make a Child Suffer"
II. "This Was Lousy Medicine"
12. Demetrio Rodriguez v. San Antonio
I. "The Poor People Have Lost Again"
II. "Education Is the Best Thing"
13. Jo Carol LaFleur v. Cleveland Board of Education
I. "There Is No Harm in Climbing Stairs"
II. "Go Home and Have Your Baby"
14. Elmer Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.
I. "A Good Reputation as a Lawyer"
II. "I'm a Legal Landmark"
15. Ishmael Jaffree v. George Wallace
I. "My God, What's Wrong with That Man?"
II. "Tell Them About My Children"
16. Michael Hardwick v. Michael Bowers
I. "I Saw a Bedroom Door Partially Open"
II. "What Are You Doing in My Bedroom?"
"Doesn't Anybody Remember the Spanish Inquisition?"
Sources and Further Readings
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