New book by Lucas A. Powe Jr. reveals close ties between Supreme Court decisions and politics

Lucas A. (Scot) Powe Jr., a professor of law and government at The University of Texas at Austin, will be at BookPeople this Monday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss and sign his lastest book, “The Supreme Court and the American Elite, 1789-2008″ (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Powe, who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in 1970-71, is a leading historian of the Supreme Court and a First Amendment scholar.

In his new book released this month, Powe provides a revealing look at the history of the Court and the close ties between its decisions and the nation’s politics at the time. He does this by rendering fresh judgments on key decisions, showing how virtually every major Supreme Court ruling suited the wishes of the most powerful politicians of the time. The story begins with the creation of the Constitution and ends with the June 2008 decisions on the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Powe has written three other books including “The Warren Court and American Politics” (Harvard) and was a principal commentator on the 2007 four-part PBS series “The Supreme Court.”