Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Nine, Inside The Secret World of the Supreme Court

Fall is a spectacular time in the Northwest, especially before the rain comes. The trees turn the most magnificent colors of red, orange and yellow and the nights are crisp and cool. This comment is in no way related to the book that we read in the month of October, but an undisputed fact.

The Nine, Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, by Jeffrey Toobin was our pick and it was universally approved by we readers. Book group usually starts with a half an hour to an hour of simply catching up with each other, we discuss life events, kids, work, politics before we get down to the discussion. This night was different, as soon as our last member arrived the discussion started before we even sat down to dinner.

The Nine is an apt and accessible description of the inner workings of the Supreme Court, how the Justices are selected, confirmed and how they approach their work. Toobin interviewed staffers of the Justices and gives us insight into the not often seen personalities of some of the most powerful people in our nation.

We were unsure as to how the book was structured, as it wasn't chronological and it didn't quite follow the life of the major cases i.e. Roe v. Wade or Bush v. Gore, but we found this book to be interesting and enjoyable none the less.

It is also our opinion that some of the Justices staffers must have been more forthcoming with anecdotes and information, or that some of the Justices just didn't have that much to offer. The description of Clarence Thomas and how he reached the end of the 2007 session without asking a single question at any of the cases was amazing to us.