Potus v. Scotus: 'The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court' by Jeffrey Toobin

Document Type

Book Review

Journal Title

The New York Times

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The Oct. 22, 2007, cover of Time magazine displayed a portrait of Chief Justice John Roberts above the line does the supreme court still matter? “As the dust rises and the opinions, concurrences and dissents pile up, the court turns its attention to ever smaller cases related to ever narrower points of law,” David Von Drehle lamented in the accompanying article. “The court’s ideology is playing a dwindling role in the lives of Americans.”

Less than five years later, not even the boldest contrarian would write those words. With Congress and the executive branch all but paralyzed, the Supreme Court today sits firmly in the center of American public life; its decisions crucially affect matters of race, sex, economics, political power and even national security. And in official Washington this fall, the most intriguing personality is neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney but John Glover Roberts Jr.