Jeffrey Toobin · 384 pages
Rating: (14.2K votes)
“The result always mattered more than the rhetoric.”
“He did what good lawyers always do. He shifted his argument in the direction his audience was already going.”
“Toughened or coarsened by their worldly lives, the other dissenters could shrug and move on, but Souter couldn't. His whole life was being a judge.”
“He denounced self-pity and pitied himself.”
“Rehnquist was just reflecting his shifting role, from outsider to the institutional embodiment of the Court.”
“There were two kinds of cases before the Supreme Court. There were abortion cases—and there were all the others.
Abortion was (and is) the central legal issue before the Court. It defined the judicial philosophies of the justices. It dominated the nomination and confirmation process. It nearly delineated the difference between the national Democratic and Republican parties.”
“Purple prose attracts attention more than converts.”
“He saw the Constitution as the vehicle to keep ecumenical passions in check.”
“The dilemma facing Bush and the Republicans was clear. If Marshall left, they could not leave the Supreme Court an all-white institution; at the same time, they had to choose a nominee who would stay true to the conservative cause. The list of plausible candidates who fit both qualifications pretty much began and ended with Clarence Thomas.
… There was awkwardness about the selection from the start. "The fact that he is black and a minority has nothing to do with this," Bush said. "He is the best qualified at this time." The statement was self-evidently preposterous; Thomas had served as a judge for only a year and, before that, displayed few of the customary signs of professional distinction that are the rule for future justices. For example, he had never argued a single case in any federal appeals court, much less in the Supreme Court; he had never written a book, an article, or even a legal brief of any consequence. Worse, Bush's endorsement raised themes that would haunt not only Thomas's confirmation hearings but also his tenure as a justice. Like the contemporary Republican Party as a whole, Bush and Thomas opposed preferential treatment on account of race—and Bush had chosen Thomas in large part because of his race. The contradiction rankled.”
“Nobody walks a difficult path without stumbling now and again. It didn’t break you when you fell. That’s the important part.”
“Lincoln?” she asked.
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?”
Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup.
And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her.”
“Realise this: one day your soul
will depart from your body and you will
be drawn behind the curtain that floats between us
and the unknown. While you wait for that moment, be happy,
because you don't know where you came from and
you don't know where you will be going.”
“Bloodied and beat up like no tomorrow, Roth grinned at me as he dropped one of the Rack demons. “You’re still hot as a stone freak.” His gaze dropped. “Maybe even hotter. Damn.”
“could anyone know when an actor was true and not acting?”
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