The Psychology of the Supreme Court
(American Psychology-Law Society Series)
Lawrence S. Wrightsman
Oxford University Press/$45

In “The Psychology of the Supreme Court,” Larry Wrightsman has succeeded in discovering and explaining how the entire institution of the Supreme Court ticks � its personal dynamics, its decision-making process, its foibles and its idiosyncrasies.

Wrightsman, a University of Kansas psychology professor, has given us a fresh and vitally important perspective on the inner workings of the nation’s highest court � and on the nine humans who are its justices.

Tony Mauro

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Larry King, ed.
Phoenix Books/$27.95

One-time Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and longtime medical malpractice attorney Jack Olender aren’t a pair you often hear mentioned in the same sentence.

But the men are among the more than 75 attorneys who have detailed their thoughts, arguments, and musings about the legal phrase “reasonable doubt” in a recently released book of essays edited by CNN’s Larry King.

“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” offers a who’s who list of many of Washington’s top attorneys, including Steptoe & Johnson’s Reid Weingarten; Chadbourne & Parke’s Abbe Lowell; Covington & Burling’s Lanny Breuer; and Billy Martin.

You’ll learn, for instance, that former President Bill Clinton’s attorney Robert Bennett believes that increasing judges’ salaries will help preserve the integrity of the judicial system, and that Baker Botts defense attorney Stephen Braga is so convinced of the ills of global warming he plans to trade in his blue Porsche for a more environmentally sound vehicle.

Some inmates share their views as well. Choose from the words of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who is expected to be paroled this year after serving more than eight years in prison for assisting suicides, or Charles Watson, a former member of the Manson family serving a life sentence for multiple murders in 1969.

Did contributors like Olender know what sort of company he’d be in? Olender says he did not, but he adds that he’s not unnerved by it. “It’s a very democratic book,” he says.

Legal Times

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