The Nine is a non-fictitious book written by Jeffrey Toobin, who is a legal analyst and former assistant attorney in the United States. He uses his knowledge in law to bring to light the changing aspects and forces at work at the Supreme Court. He also uses his knowledge to establish major decisions that were made by the Supreme Court. In his book, he describes how political masterminds used the Supreme Court to gain their political milestones. For instance, according to Toobin, when President George Bush added John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, it shifted the offset of authority in the Supreme Court, which is the ultimate legal authority in the United States, to be in favor of the ruling coalition (Toobin 7). He describes how these two additional chief justices to the Supreme Court were instrumental was a plan by the ruling coalition to influence the court’s decision on the 2000 election. In this case, Gore had accused Bush of having doctored the outcomes of the election. The court ruled in favor of Bush. As presented by Toobin, the court, in its ruling, showed how biased it was by ruling in favor of the President (Toobin 9). The book, however, does not criticize the court for enforcing the victory of Bush, but the incompetent and distasteful manner in which it handled the case that led to the victory. He finishes off by saying that the court exhibited its wickedest characters, for example, futility, superciliousness, brashness, and political biases. The book further explains that because of their capability to manipulate the decisions made by the court, the “conservatives” can easily overturn Roe v. Wade, advocate for the various states to abolish abortion, magnify their executive authority, terminate the fight against the discrimination experienced by the African-Americans, and rush the implementation of their policies.
According to Toobin, in the previous years, for example, in 2006 and 2007, court cases were resolved by votes of 5 to 4 (Toobin 11). He calls this vote a level of split. He then says that resolution of cases in the courts has changed and does not fulfill the standards as expected. He says that the courts resolutions on abortion, the relationship between the church and the state, and the finances used during campaigns did not go as per the standards of the court. In addition, he criticizes Roberts and his friends at the high court for annulling some cases without informing the public.
This book gives a brilliant chronicle of the current account of the Supreme Court and the specific impartiality. Moreover, it exhibits how personal character, jurisdictional attitude, and individual relationship can make a person betray choices, which have great repercussions for the state as a whole. In this book, Mr. Toobin evaluates the appointment of the two chief justices, Roberts and Alito, by President Bush, expounding on how they view matters pertaining the judicial service and the country as a whole. He also tries to examine how the resolution of the specific cases has affected the reputation of the judiciary as a whole, both within and outside the country (Toobin 13).
Because of the vast narrative knowledge of the author, this book is enlightening as it gives the reader a lot of information about the judicial processes in the Supreme Court and the judicial injustices in the American history. It is also a charming book to read and it is easy to understand as compared to other books written about the Supreme Court. In addition, it presents a real picture of the routine of the Supreme Court, and it gives a clear perception of the forces, which are behind the incompetency of the courts, for example, executive authorities.
As it is with any other book, the reader may or may not concur with the views and claims as presented by Mr. Toobin in his book. However, his views and claims as a lawyer are cunningly discussed and have their basis coming from convincing credentials. For example, he talks about the public outcry because of the appointment of Harriet Miers. President Bush nominated her because she was his colleague and legal advisor. He goes on to postulate that despite the public outcry she was appointed even though she did not adequately qualified for the position. Besides, Lewis Powell, who was also appointed by President Bush, had no record of having worked in government. Byron White was also appointed as the deputy Attorney General over a very short time in his profession despite having been barely average in his profession as a private barrister at Denver (Toobin 15).
In this book, most emphasis is placed on the verdict of the case between Bush and Gore that saw Bush win the 2000 elections. He describes the justices who handled this case as being supporters of the ruling political party, which contradicts their code of non-partisanship. He describes the character of each Justice and how they interacted amongst themselves, and what those who rose through the corridors of power utilized on and what those who stagnated at their positions lacked. He also explains the personal involvement of the Justices in the Bush v. Gore case. For example, Justice O’Connor tipped the case in support of Bush and submitted his resignation in 2005, which gave the President a vital position to put in his ally (Toobin 16).
Toobin, Jeffrey. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. The New York Times. (2007). Print. Retrieved: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/books/21book.html