Cover image for The Supreme Court under Edward Douglass White, 1910-1921
The Supreme Court under Edward Douglass White, 1910-1921
Pratt, Walter F., 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 296 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
The first term -- The 1911-1912 term -- The 1912-1913 term -- The 1913-1914 term -- The 1914-1915 term -- The 1915-1916 term -- The 1916-1917 term -- The 1917-1918 term -- The 1918-1919 term -- The 1919-1920 term -- The final term.
Format :


Call Number
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Home Location
Item Holds
KF8742 .P73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This volume chronicles a transformation in American jurisprudence that mirrored the widespread political, economic and social upheavals of the early 20th century. White's tenure coincided with a shift from a rural to an urban society and the emergence of the US as a world power.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In assessing the impact of Chief Justice White's leadership of the US Supreme Court on constitutional development, Pratt (Notre Dame Law School) gives White only average marks. Pratt analyzes chronologically the case law before the Court (1910-20), interspersing brief biographies of the justice and highlighting the political and social events that spawned much of the litigation. Pratt contends that the White Court was a transition Court, which tested old doctrines under new circumstances, during a time when disagreement among the justices helped move the Court away from certainty about a shared common past. Only toward the end of White's tenure did the divisions on the Court indicate that the high bench understood the momentous national shift from a rural to an urban environment. Contending with issues such as the legal distinction between "public" and "private," the reach of federal power, and the extent of the state police power, the Court nevertheless tended to ratify the policies of state and federal legislative and executive branches. Although kindly, intellectual, and revered by his associates, White, with few exceptions, was unable to create a judicial response to the rapid changes in American society. This thoughtful book with a plausible thesis perhaps gives less credit to White and his colleagues than they deserve. Upper-division undergraduates, graduates, faculty, professionals. R. J. Steamer; emeritus, University of Massachusetts at Boston