What does Inez Mullholland Professor of Civil Liberties Burt Neuborne think about a new biography of Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens?  It's "useful," he concludes, but the book "will not win any prizes." Neuborne elaborates in a posting on Just Books, a new section of the website of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

Launched earlier this year, Just Books serves as a forum for discussion and reviews, and for authors themselves to speak about their work. The range of subjects is broad. Books featured now include Spoken from the Heart, by former First Lady Laura Bush; Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall at All, by New York Times reporter John Schwartz; and the biography Neuborne reviewed, John Paul Stevens: An Independent Life by reporter Bill Barnhart and retired lawyer Gene Schlickman. As part of his assessment of the Stevens bio, Neuborne discusses the justice's complicated relationship with free speech. This story, and much else about Stevens's judicial legacy offer an extraordinary tale to tell, Neuborne says, but this book doesn't do that very well.

Posted May 19, 2010