The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic


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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER- An acclaimed legal scholar's "essential" (Linda Greenhouse) exposé of the Supreme Court's increasing use of unsigned, unexplained orders to change the law--all behind closed doors

The Supreme Court has always had the authority to issue emergency rulings in exceptional circumstances. But since 2017, the Court has dramatically expanded its use of the behind-the-scenes "shadow docket," regularly making decisions that affect millions of Americans without public hearings and without explanation, through cryptic late-night rulings that leave lawyers--and citizens--scrambling.

The Court's conservative majority has used the shadow docket to green-light restrictive voting laws and bans on abortion, and to curtail immigration and COVID vaccine mandates. But Americans of all political stripes should be worried about what the shadow docket portends for the rule of law, argues Supreme Court expert Stephen Vladeck. In this rigorous yet accessible book, he issues an urgent call to bring the Court back into the light.



Author: Stephen Vladeck
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: 05/16/2023
Pages: 352
Weight: 1.2lbs
Size: 9.30h x 6.20w x 1.40d
ISBN: 9781541602632


Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 02/13/2023
Kirkus Reviews 07/01/2023

About the Author

Stephen Vladeck holds the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate. He has argued before the Supreme Court and has been CNN's Supreme Court Analyst since 2013. Vladeck lives in Austin, Texas.


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