Friday, September 30, 2016

The Obama White House and the Supreme Court

The Obama White House and the Supreme Court 
from The Oath

By Jeffrey Toobin

This "Vintage Short" is a selection from The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. I have several of Toobin's books on my shelf, but haven't quite gotten around to them yet. 

I really, really need to.

This short begins with the kerfuffle over Obama's oath of office at his first swearing in. Do you remember that? I do, and it was entertaining to read about how freaked out the brand new staffers were over whether or not Obama was actually President or not after having not actually completed the oath correctly. The Constitution is weirdly specific about the oath that must be taken by the most powerful member of the executive branch, so if you're going to mess something up you probably shouldn't let it be that.

After that Toobin goes on to briefly describe the heart of all Constitutional debates: traditionalism (ie, the only rights we have are what the founders/future lawmakers explicitly wrote in there) vs living constitution (society changes and confers new rights onto the people based on basic rights already given). Then we enter into a long and, frankly, wandering bit about how Obama has felt about the debate. 

Hint: He's a traditionalist. 

Didn't know that did you?

Overall this was an interesting little short, and definitely makes me look at my shelf longingly (specifically at you [book:The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court|280410]). It was a quick read, maybe thirty minutes, that was well written on a very relevant topic to today.

Copy courtesy of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group/Vintage, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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