The Nine

The Nine

Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Book - 2007 | 1st ed.
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Bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin takes you into the chambers of the most important--and secret--legal body in our country, the Supreme Court, and reveals the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land.

Just in time for the 2008 presidential election--where the future of the Court will be at stake--Toobin reveals an institution at a moment of transition, when decades of conservative disgust with the Court have finally produced a conservative majority, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, presidential power, and church-state relations.

Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Court through personalities--from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas's well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd nineteenth-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore --and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

The Nine is the book bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin was born to write. A CNN senior legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer, no one is more superbly qualified to profile the nine justices.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385516402
Characteristics: viii, 369 p., [8] p. of plates : col. ill. ; 25 cm.


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Jul 26, 2018

No doubt there will be renewed interest in this book given the recent changes to the Court. I thought this would be more a history of the Court, but Jeffrey Toobin, who has also written books about O.J. Simpson and Patty Hearst, focuses on the Rehnquist court and their major cases. It was the longest serving court without any changes in justices. Toobin admirably sketches about each justices's character, personality, and judicial philosophy. More reticent justices like David Souther and Stephen Breyer emerge from the shadows, and the influence and importance of Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the court, is articulated. While sometimes filled with legal jargon and arcana, it is an often fascinating look at major issues the court dealt with, including abortion, gay rights, the death penalty, and, of course, the infamous Bush V. Gore case, which Toobin sees as a taint on the court's legacy (He actually wrote another book about it.). I'm no lawyer, but I found this book "guilty" of being a good read!

AbigailCurious May 26, 2015

Even though he's a liberal he still managed to give a fairly unbiased account.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

A look at the powerful and secretive world of the United States Supreme Court, which, in recent years, has moved from a moderate position to a decidedly conservative one. This shift has major implications for issues such as abortion, presidential power and church-state relations.

redban Aug 28, 2014

The more I think about it, the more I dislike this book. This is such an important topic, but Mr. Toobin does the bare minimum, pointing out what is already obvious (not insightful). This is only useful if you want understand what the mainstream drones want you to know, but please read more on the topic! I guess this is expected from a CNN political analyst (Corporate media cheering for power/the status quo). Not nearly enough on how The Supreme Court has affected Corporate power, which is the basis of the US political and legal system after all. No emotions on the utter injustices and systemic failures! Always playing it safe, describing each Justices' personality quirks instead of scrutinizing their actions and how it effects the country. Yes, yes, Scalia and Clarence Thomas are useless, a baboon could tell me that. Authors like Toobin only skim the top without venturing deeper into the root issues, and they get exposed when they find themselves too deep (like when Glenn Greenwald schooled Toobin on national television).

Agent13 May 21, 2012

Mr. Toobin offers an insiders tour of the workings of the Court in this book. If any of the Founding Founders were to read this, then they would surely be disappointed as to how the Court functions today. While, in theory, the Court is supposed to serve as a check on the other branches of government (Separation of Powers, anyone?), politics rules the day here, with the outcome of the 2000 election as a prime example. Toobin also adds other examples that, in the final analysis, show the court to be influenced by the whims of politics.


A great and educational read!

Author provides a brilliant glimpse with his interesting narrative style on each Justice's personal and professional style.

Author does raise questions as (and much more):

Is The Supreme Court 'untouched' by their political views and parties they belong to and/or nominated by?

Is The Supreme Court a trully Democratic institution, where 9 Justices have life tenure and their decisions are not publicly voted on or even exposed to public, but made behind the doors?

Is The Supreme Court always be inclining toward Conservative right wing and remain such?

Oct 19, 2008

what those people do


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