The Chicago Sun Times: Review: ‘The Oath’ by Jeffrey Toobin

September 20th, 2012

The Chicago Sun Times
September 20, 2012 6:06PM


Few pay much attention to the U.S. Supreme Court, except for every decade or so when it decides to write a few words and turn everything around us upside-down or inside-out.

This is called a landmark ruling.

The Supreme Court briefly attracted our attention this year, at about the level of our watching Lindsay Lohan check into another rehab, when it almost offered a landmark ruling that almost overturned Obamacare, but didn’t.

And then we went back to a presidential election that is more interested in dogs on car roofs than the Commerce Clause.

Jeffrey Toobin thinks we should rethink this, and he keeps writing books to this effect. In his latest, “The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court” (Doubleday, $28.95), Toobin, a rare authority who knows how to write, frames President Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts as engaged in a kind of slow-motion showdown, like two men standing on a frontier main street, which ought to get our attention.

“The Oath” purports — and the purporting succeeds with good reporting — to tell the story of Obama vs. Roberts, which, Toobin reminds us, is as important as Obama vs. Romney in many ways.


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