Author: PH

Fiction & Nonfiction


The Myth of Judicial Activism: Making Sense of Supreme Court Decisions
By Kermit Roosevelt

Books by Kermit Roosevelt

This carefully considered book is a welcome addition to the debate over “judicial activism.” Constitutional scholar Kermit Roosevelt III offers an elegantly simple way to resolve the heated discord between conservatives, who argue that the Constitution is immutable, and progressives, who insist that it is a living document that must be reinterpreted in new cultural contexts so that its meaning evolves. Roosevelt uses plain language and compelling examples to explain how the Constitution can be both a constant and an organic document.

Recent years have witnessed an increasing drumbeat of complaints about judicial behavior, focusing particularly on Supreme Court decisions that critics charge are reflections of the Justices’ political preferences rather than enforcement of the Constitution. The author takes a balanced look at these controversial decisions through a compelling new lens of constitutional interpretation. He clarifies the task of the Supreme Court in constitutional cases, then sets out a model to describe how the Court creates doctrine to implement the meaning of the Constitution. Finally, Roosevelt uses this model to show which decisions can be justified as legitimate and which cannot. 




Conflict of Laws by Kermit Roosevelt

This title provides an analytical overview of the field of conflicts and explains all major choice-of-law approaches in simple and straightforward text. Separate chapters explore discrete conflicts issues, including personal jurisdiction, recognition of judgments, family law, and state-federal conflicts, including Erie and preemption. It covers the most recent Supreme Court cases on personal jurisdiction and extraterritorial application of federal law, as well as the latest examples of state choice of law approaches. Extensive description and analysis of leading cases make this book an excellent companion to a casebook as well as a resource for practitioners.

This edition includes new coverage of personal jurisdiction and extraterritorial application of US law sections. It covers Supreme Court cases as Goodyear, Nicastro, and Daimler AG for personal jurisdiction; and Morrison and Kiobel for extraterritorial application of US law.

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Philadelphia Athenaeum Literary Award

Kermit Roosevelt Book

Read an excerpt Reading Group Guide

In the Shadow of the Law is the story of Morgan Siler, a powerful Washington, D.C., law firm that has transformed itself from a traditional practice serving those most in need into a shrewd giant serving the interests of the wealthy. Through the intertwined stories of a pro bono murder case and a class action lawsuit brought against a large chemical company, we meet the fascinating, engaging, and conflicted characters that make up this world: Mark Clayton, the rookie; Walker Eliot, the prodigy; Katja Phillips, the idealist; and Harold Fineman, the brilliant and burned-out partner, leader of the chemical company’s defense team. With a thorny and breathtakingly paced narrative, In the Shadow of the Law marks the arrival of a writer who “stakes a firm claim to the literary territory of Scott Turow”. —The Times-Picayune

In the Shadow of the Law

“A thoroughly gripping debut novel . . . a major breakthrough.”Chicago Tribune

“A nifty legal thriller that relies less on creaky plotting and more on complex and believable characters. . . . Shadow masterfully captures the culture of a legal factory: the competitive atmosphere, the overwhelming workload, and the give-and-take between what is right and what is best for clients.”–Entertainment Weekly (grade:   A-)

“Readable, informed, sophisticated, often devastating . . . [an] astute character study.”The Washington Post

“An impressive first novel–with emphasis on both adjectives . . . commendable in its perceptive and witty insights into the post-law-school life of big-firm associates . . . The redeeming quality of Roosevelt’s utterly realistic characters is that they know exactly what they are doing. Unlike Faust, they are not tricked or even seduced by the princes of darkness in their gentlemanly garb and corner offices. They step onto the treadmill with their eyes wide open and their antennae firmly in place. They, like the author who created them, understand the world of backstabbing and sucking up they are entering. I recognize these characters. . . . I recommend this novel with real enthusiasm.”–Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review

“A shrewd first novel . . . a graceful performance . . . hugely readable.”The Philadelphia Inquirer

“[A] complex, ambitious first novel.”News & Record (Greensboro)
“Shrewd.”The Charlotte Observer
“Perhaps only once a decade does a brilliant young lawyer write a terrific first novel that suddenly announces him as a first-rate storytelling talent while revealing anew the enormous drama hidden within the colossus that we call the American legal system. Kermit Rooselvelt is such a writer, andIn the Shadow of the Law is such a book. A tremendous, satisfying read.”–Colin Harrison, author of The Havana Room
“It wouldn’t be wrong to call In the Shadow of the Law a legal thriller, but it would sell the book short. There are suspenseful, devious plots aplenty . . . but it’s Shadow‘s cast of characters that will keep you up at night. Roosevelt writes about the law more passionately and entertainingly than anyone since Scott Turow.”Time
“This legal thriller combines satisfyingly intricate puzzles with plenty of bite . . . strong characterizations, and insider’s knowledge.”The Christian Science Monitor

“The mysteries in each case unfold in clever ways, but the real fizz and pop in In the Shadow of the Law comes from the characters, a surprisingly vivid and idiosyncratic bunch. Roosevelt sketches them with such shrewd, witty aplomb that you feel impatient to get back to them whenever he turns to the plot.”–Laura Miller,
“Roosevelt has written–and written well–a thoughtful and disturbing legal thriller that is also a meditation on the law itself.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“This tour of the professions dark side should not be missed.”The Week
“In this graceful performance, Roosevelt establishes himself as chronicler of the menagerie. . . . [A] hugely readable novel.”–Knight Ridder newspapers