Item description for Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America by Mark R. Levin...
Overview The conservative commentator offers examples of judicial power grabs and liberal power plays and argues that judges have openly and defiantly rejected allegiance to the U.S. Constitution they have sworn an oath to uphold.
Publishers Description Conservative talk radio host, lawyer, and frequent National Review contributor Mark R. Levin comes out firing against the United States Supreme Court in Men in Black, accusing the institution of corrupting the ideals of America's founding fathers. The court, in Levin's estimation, pursues an ideology-based activist agenda that oversteps its authority within the government. Levin examines several decisions in the court's history to illustrate his point, beginning with the landmark Marbury v. Madison case, wherein the court granted itself the power to declare acts of the other branches of government unconstitutional. He devotes later chapters to other key cases culminating in modern issues such as same-sex marriage and the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. Like effective attorneys do, Levin packs in copious research material and delivers his points with tremendous vigor, excoriating the justices for instances where he feels strict constit utional constructivism gave way to biased interpretation. But Levin's definition of "activism" seems inconsistent. In the case of McCain-Feingold, the court declined to rule on a bill already passed by congress and signed by the president, but Levin, who thinks the bill violates the First Amendment, still accuses them of activism even when they were actually passive. To his talk-radio listeners, Levin's hard-charging style and dire warnings of the court's direction will strike a resonant tone of alarm, though the hyperbole may be a bit off-putting to the uninitiated. As an attack on the vagaries of decisions rendered by the Supreme Court and on some current justices, Men in Black scores points and will likely lead sympathetic juries to conviction. -
Citations And Professional Reviews Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America by Mark R. Levin has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 04/04/2005
Ingram Advance - 01/01/2005 page 39
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Studio: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.44" Width: 6.32" Height: 1.09" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Jan 6, 2005
Publisher Regnery Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 0895260506 ISBN13 9780895260505
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark R. Levin
Mark R. Levin, nationally syndicated talk-radio host and president of Landmark Legal Foundation, is the author of Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, which spent more than three months as a #1 New York Times bestseller and sold more than one million copies. His books Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America and Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish were also bestsellers. He has worked as an attorney in the private sector and as a top adviser and administrator to several members of President Ronald Reagan's cabinet.
Reviews - What do customers think about Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America?
Bush cheerleader correct on Supreme Court; ignores Republican Congress May 26, 2008
Mark Levin is one of those unmistakable specimens who first appears right in his analysis but under scrutiny quietly slides on rose-colored glasses to see what he desires rather than the whole truth. Sean Hannity is of a similar mold. Both appear as thoughtful and intelligent constitutional conservatives placing principle above politics and eternal truths over convenient pragmatism. The cultivated image these radio jockeys spend years polishing is in fact a false veneer thrown over the eyes of ordinary people who cannot see for themselves the reality through the rhetoric. Despite its bragging of impeccable conservative credentials and commitment to the truths of the Founding Fathers, the crowd of Levin, Hannity, Ingraham, and Limbaugh cheer on the Bush administration and the modern Republican Party without noting how said political forces pose and shove ideals that are contrary to their intellectual forefathers. "Men in Black" documents some obvious instances of the Supreme Court's overstepping of its constitutional authority upon relaying decisions pertaining to economics, gay marriage, foreign policy, and abortion. The book, not counting its appendices and index, is a mere 205 pages long. I could admittedly write a book twice as long that reveals the tyranny of Bush and his Republican-controlled Congress who, according to Levin, appear to be Godsend for the United States. If somebody possesses the courage and integrity to call herself a constitutional conservative, I expect consistency right down to the crossed `Ts' and dotted `Is`. The above crowd is neither courageous nor consistent. They are cheerleaders for those who actually wish to do away with our Constitution.
"Men in Black" is structurally quite messy for the work of a former cabinet adviser and chief of staff to the U.S. attorney general. The book feels like a checklist of tasks that require frenzied completion coupled with repeating injections of tempered outrage that squeals, "Judicial activism! Egads! Egregious!" Levin proclaims with joyful, tearful adoration the Bush-initiated "War on Terror" after he blames the _Supreme Court_ for abusing its authority with conjuring up rules for how immigrants can enter the United States! He correctly notes of the Constitution's grant to Congress of constructing America's immigration policy. The flaw in the argument that Levin fails to take note of is the Republican-controlled Congress' dereliction of duty by not securing the border and enforcing the immigration laws currently on the books. He chides the SCOTUS for something that Congress has ALSO failed to do for at least 20 years, and what is worse, the Congress possessed the AUTHORITY to perform this task. Levin's beloved Republican Party, which controlled Congress from 1995-2007, did not do what was constitutionally required of the Congress: secure the borders and enforce immigration laws. How does this relate to the Bush administration's "War on Terror?" The answer is obvious: a man in his home cannot expect to defend his family from an invader by leaving the door open and unlocked as he attempts to crack down on _potential_ invaders thousands of miles away from home. Meanwhile, the livid and murderous invader has already clutched the child by the throat. For a more cogent analysis of this paradox, I direct you to Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin`s column: http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin450.htm
The book contains intellectual contradictions that could shame the Democrats, and it would be wearisome to recount them in this review. They are not difficult to find anyway. Levin rallies against "socialism from the bench" while omitting that George W. Bush permitted the largest increase in government spending in our nation's history, surpassing even Lyndon Baines Johnson and right-wing idol Ronald Reagan, who chalked up more government debt than any other president before him combined. I do not need to say much more. Pundits and commentators on television and on radio spew drivel and half-truths for hours on end each day, which is why I do not care to submit myself to such a depressing object as the Boob Tube. The real crime of these radio shock jocks is the blatant discouraging of intellectual inquiry and careful research. Rush Limbaugh himself directs his minions to accept his words as Gospel. And I guess that's that, isn't it? You cannot really argue with the Gospel, which is why I say to the poor listeners of talk radio, "Get out while you still can!"
Thought provoking history and analysis of the Supreme Court. Dec 14, 2007
Mark Levin gives wonderful insight on the most important legal decisions and the men and women who wrote these decisions. He does a particularly good job in discussing Hugo Black and how his anti-Catholicism led to 'separation of church and state' entering constitutional law. He, also, gives an excellent explanation of Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist's decisions on Bush v. Gore. Also, there is a very humorous part about past judges and their tomfoolery. 'Men in Black' is an excellent read for anyone interested in law.
Constitutional Concerns, or Politics as Usual? Dec 5, 2007
Men in Black is a book about excessive government power. It isn't concerned so much with legislative or executive power. Rather, this is a book about the growing power and influence of the Supreme Court; a court that author Mark Levin feels has overstepped its boundaries and taken upon itself to write the law in its own terms, often against the will of the people.
Levin speaks with authority on the issue of Supreme Court responsibility and the division of power among the three branches of the U.S. government. He is a Constitutional lawyer so he is certainly qualified to write a book such as this. However, this book doesn't necessarily present the strongest case against Supreme Court authority and abuse of power and many of its arguments are weak and sometimes contradictory. One of the arguments the author makes throughout the book, for example, is that a law that has been voted into place by the people should almost always stand; without interference from the Supreme Court or any other court trying to overturn it. But what this type of argument fails to point out is that, since the United States was founded as a Republic form of government, the rights of all people- majority, minority, and otherwise- must be respected and upheld. Rights are not up for a vote, but based on Levin's reasoning, he seems to think it's okay to take away certain rights if the ballot results say so.
Levin also argues against other things that many American's cherish, like the right to privacy. True, there is no explicit right to privacy granted in the Constitution, but that doesn't mean it isn't an implied right, intended by the nation's founders. Surveys show that the majority of Americans feel that privacy is a right and should be Constitutionally protected. Levin feels it is not a right and that the Supreme Court should not treat it as such. It's interesting how the book so Levin so quickly changes his position on democracy and the importance of upholding the will of the people when they vote something into law. If a vote of the people confirms the right to privacy, one would think that someone like Levin would agree that it should be made into law. But based on his other convictions in this book, he would likely be against it, in direct contradiction of some of his other stands on the issues and the Supreme Court's authority to decide them.
In spite of Men In Black's faulty reasoning, there are some parts worth reading. The best chapter (by far) is chapter 10, "Silencing Political Debate". Here, the book accurately points out the very unconstitutional and un- American McCain- Feingold act of 2002 and how it silences free speech by making it a crime to talk about politicians in the days leading up to an election. How this ever became law and survived a review by the Supreme Court, I will never know. Levin is one- hundred percent correct in his criticism of this act and I share his disgust. Besides this chapter, there are some other good points made regarding certain individual laws (many are mentioned in the book) from over the years and how their fate was decided by the Supreme Court and they also make for good reading.
Overall, however, Men in Black isn't quite the incredible work of constitutional writing that some of its endorsers claim. Mark Levin seems upset at the Supreme Court more for the trend toward more liberal thinking than for its supposed violations of the U.S. Constitution. If the Supreme Court was violating the Constitution in favor of a position that he and his fellow conservatives approve, then I doubt he would say anything about it. He also seems to believe that the will of the people is sufficient to trample on rights. It all adds up to a less than average book that fails to convince me of its initial premise: That the U.S. Supreme Court has excessive power and wields too much influence. It's a nice effort, but it doesn't quite convince.
Necessary reading Nov 25, 2007
'Men in Black' is necessary reading. We should require all high school students to read this book as part of their civics requirement. Mark Levin explains the constitution and the Supreme Court's role in destroying it in exquisite detail.
Are we simply sheep being led astray? Sep 19, 2007
The first thing I would suggest doing before reading this book or any other political book is to actually read the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. It can be found for free on the internet.
When discussing one of my favorite issues of our time, the interaction of government and religion, invariably the phrase of "Separation of Church and State" is put forth. My simple retort is to then challenge the individual to find that phrase in the U.S. Constitution. It's my belief that if you asked the entire population of the United States, 80 - 90% of the people would say that phrase could be found in the Constitution. But alas, those words can be found nowhere in the Constitution or the first amendment specifically. It isn't all that surprising that people hold that belief based on the fact that the phrase is uttered ad nauseam through the media, politicians and judges. This simple fact alone leads me to suggest actually reading the entire document before moving on to books regarding the Constitution.
The above being said, whether you are a middle of the roader, left wing loony or a right wing nut job like me I think Mr. Levin's Men in Black is a valuable read. It gives accounts on how the judiciary has usurped power that isn't specifically given it in the Constitution.
For people that applaud judicial activism such as Roe v. Wade, rulings against religious activities, etc. they should take pause and consider that someday the result may be widespread judicial activism from the right. Neither being a good thing. Legislating belongs in Congress where politicians are accountable to the people by election. To me Mr. Levin shows the danger of when judges take power not given them in the Constitution and use it to get their personally desired results enacted.
The book is specifically broken out in chapters that discuss specific topics, such as role of religion, rights to privacy, social policy enacted from the bench as well as several others. While I felt the arguments could have at times been better developed, I do believe this is a valuable book to read to gain a better understanding of our current judiciary climate and how we got to this stage.