Penn Press at AHA 2021

American Justice 2018

American Justice 2018

The Shifting Supreme Court

by Todd Ruger

  • Hardcover
  • 9780812250855
  • Published: October 2018



After a restrained 2017 term in which the Supreme Court muddled through most of its work with just eight justices, the court roared back to life with a momentous term in 2018. With Donald Trump's first appointment to the bench, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, finding his footing and swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy preparing for retirement at the close of the term, the Court took on a series of cases that touched on some of the most contentious issues in contemporary American life—and in almost every case gave Americans a glimpse of where the court is likely to keep shifting over the coming years: further to the right.

In American Justice 2018, journalist Todd Ruger examines the most monumental of these controversial decisions—including those involving religious freedom and minority rights, partisan gerrymandering, President Trump's travel ban, privacy in the digital era, sales tax for online retailers, and apparent tensions between the First Amendment and the collection of union dues. Ruger deftly analyzes how each of these decisions fits into the history of the court—and what the opinions and dissents reveal about the shifting ideological configuration of the institution. Along the way, Ruger reflects on how the term's polarizing docket will shape the future of the Supreme Court and the legacy of individual justices.