Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court’s Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America

Penguin Pr. Feb. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9780735221505. $30. LAW
Since the tenure of former Chief Justices Warren Burger and William H. Rehnquist, the U.S. Supreme Court’s increasingly conservative bent and legal decisions have unfairly impacted poor and marginalized Americans while benefiting the rich and powerful, argues best-selling author Cohen (Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck). Moving from decision to decision, Cohen demonstrates how uninterrupted conservative control of the Court has dismantled the liberal legacy of the Warren Court (1953-1969), which heard cases on school desegregation, racial exclusion and discrimination, wage workers and labor unions, women’s rights, voting rights, and more. The result, Cohen maintains, has been a trajectory of increasing inequality; this is pushing the country into an unsustainable society disconnected from the fundamental aspects of the nation’s founding as a land where upward mobility is a promise for the many, rather than a path of the few.
VERDICT Weaving legal, political, and social history, Cohen creates a richly detailed, but accessible account for all interested in the personalities and politics that have shaped and are continuing to shape not only the U.S. criminal justice system but also the fabric of American life. A must-read.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing