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Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America (2005)

Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America (2005)

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4.09 of 5 Votes: 4
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0895260506 (ISBN13: 9780895260505)
regnery publishing

About book Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America (2005)

Mark Levin's book falls into some of the usual pitfalls that almost all biased political argumentation today falls into--evidence is often stretched and recontextualized to fit certain predisposed conclusions. The book is clearly well researched, and Levin is no doubt quite knowledgeable about legal process and the language of the US Constitution, but his conclusions are often stretched to a degree that no longer fits the evidence. I would hesitate comparing his method to a smokescreen, for I am not entirely sure if Levin is purposefully making exaggerated claims that he doesn't support but artfully disguises in the ethos of research, but at the core of many of his ideas are assumptions or basic contradictions that he just can't back up. For example, Levin is trying to show with this book that there is a long-term conspiracy of liberalism that has been slowly forging opportunities for itself in the process of applying the Constitution to the cases before it so that there would be precedent to back what Levin calls unConstitutional decisions like in Roe vs. Wade. Levin pushes a good case to look further (personally) into the basis of that and other decisions and if they do have Constitutional basis, but Levin instead goes into a history lesson of the decisions that predicated decisions like Roe vs. Wade with the assumption that every opportunity opened in previous decisions regarding things like the right to privacy was in fact the doing of a long-term liberal plan to open the doors of power for an activist court. Certainly, legal cases are often made on the grounds of precedent, but instead of revealing the focus on precedent rather than the Constitution as a problem in the deliberations of the Supreme Court, Levin tries to turn the problem into an unsupportable conspiracy that comes across on the edge of paranoia rather than sound, unbiased reason. And when Levin starts out the book stating that the justices should be treated as humans rather than gods, he wants to convey the idea that their actions may be questioned, but will not acknowledge himself that the history of precedents may also be the mistakes of the same human beings whom he does not want us to deify. Levin also breaks his guise of the the reasonable viewer of history when he tries to establish the intents of the founding fathers, equating Jefferson's participation in prayer services at Congress as a direct negation of his over-used mention of the wall of separation. Clearly, Levin cannot see no possible correlation between the two, and thus the questioning of the validity of prayer in schools must be a moot argument. Just to make sure that his bias is clear, he throws in a little slippery scare tactic of suggesting a future where religious observance is also banned in the home. Levin makes the same kind of rhetorical blunders when he suggests that Blackmun may have turned 'left' under the influence of his wife (while giving a little shot in the arm to Richard Nixon for having the foresight of wanting to base a Supreme Court nomination partly on the quality of a man's wife). When discussing the famous argument over the inclusion of "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, Levin focuses more on how much the plaintiff's daughter actually wanted to say the phrase, which is of course moot when considering the actual legitimacy of requiring the phrase in a patriotic statement. In the end, this book comes across as yet another argument of bias in what has clearly become a divisive popular culture--evidently, a book isn't commercially viable unless it has a line to hold, no matter which side.

Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America by Mark R. Levin (2005). This was a very interesting book and one that I admit I might not have otherwise read sporting as it does an introduction by Rush Limbaugh (making it immediately suspect) but since it was a freebee on a library give away shelf I figured it was worth a look. Levin is an experienced lawyer, writer and, although more conservative than my normal taste, a well-regarded Court watcher. It would be easy to quibble with some of the ahistorical analysis and ‘issue shifting’ that the author engages in making his arguments but in general the work does have some value and many of Levin’s points are right on the money. He particularly hits the target when he discusses the invidious influence of advocacy groups in the judicial nomination process. While his examples of offending organizations are all “liberal” advocacy groups (NOW, NAACP, ACLU, etc.) it is not at all difficult for the informed reader to recognize that the money and access flows both to the left and to the right in politics; the liberal advocacy groups that Levin condemns during the Bush II years have now become the conservative advocacy groups of the Obama administration. Although dated Men in Black still has something to offer to the reader interested in understanding a bit better the views of the far right vis-à-vis the Supreme Court.

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When a book about the Supreme Court starts out by listing over a dozen Justices and giving facts about their insanity and inability to do the job they were appointed to do, you know its going to be a good read. I was not disappointed. I was actually amazed at some of the ways that the constitution has been and continues to be subverted and even destroyed by activism and what can only be described as utterly criminal activity by the courts. Of course, they are mostly untouchable.Levin uses his extensive knowledge of the constitution and constitutional law as the basis for his writing here, citing one case after another and pointing out the exact language used in decisions and writings by the court over the years. You might think a book about constitutional law would become boring, but Levin never becomes that. A very well written book about a subject that we should all be concerned very much about. The process for making an amendment to the constitution is arduous and difficult at best for lawmakers. For the judiciary, its as easy as having an opinion and the stroke of a pen. Truly scary what they have accomplished and the possibility of what they may accomplish in the future.I highly suggest this book, followed by Liberty & Tyranny and finally, Ameritopia. You will be enlightened and hopefully, awakened.

When I earned my degree in Political Science, one of the most interesting courses I took was in Constitutional Law. I've also read widely about the framing of the Constitution and the early history of our nation. This NY Times Best Seller lived up to all the hype I heard about it. Mr Levin, aReagan-era appointee, radio-talk-show host and Constitutional Law expert succinctly describes how the Supreme Court has taken unto itself unprecedented power to legislate from the bench. Having just viewed the "John Adams" miniseries on HBO, which shows how the framers of the Constitution sought to carefully craft the responsibilities, duties, and powers of the three separate branches of our government, I am struck by how far the court has deviated from those tenets. I was surprised -- though I should not have been -- by Mr Levin's expose regarding the systematic abuse of the Senate's Advise-and-Consent Role and the behind-the-scenes manipulations of self-serving liberal interest groups. A bonus feature was a chapter describing the Florida "Hanging Chad" issue that tore our republic apart in the last Presidential election. Mr. Levin clearly outlines the applicable law involved, the abuses that occurred, and how it poses evolving and yet unknown dangers for our system of government in the future. The book is written for laymen and Levin translates complex legal issues into easy-to-understand terms. It is, of course, non-fiction; as a companion read, I suggest "The Appeal" -- John Grisham's latest novel. The lessons of Grisham's fiction are as frightening as Mr. Levin's reality.

I tried really hard to read this book, as I was interested in the subject. When I realized the book was written with an extreme political bias (the fact that Rush Limbaugh wrote the intro was a bit telling), I tried to read it from the stance of broadening my understanding of other's perspectives. I couldn't make it to the end. I skimmed much of the material. I got tired of seeing the word 'liberal' mentioned with such disdain. The books subtitle should have been How the Liberals Are Destroying America. I would be quite interested in reading about this topic from a less bias source (less bias from any political perspective). Too bad Levin has such hatred for Americans that don't think like he does. He had the opportunity to teach this liberal something constructive about his viewpoint -- he blew it!He does have decent writing skills, so I gave him higher marks for that. Please note, I would never lower a rating because someone's viewpoint is different than mine. If Levin had presented his arguments with any finesse, I would have been happy to rate this book higher.

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