Truman's Court: A Study in Judicial Restraint

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Given the subjective nature of decision making, the hope may have been unrealistic, then as now. Not only did each justice bring a host of individual predilections - personal and political as well as philosophical - to bear upon his decisions, the collegial nature of the Court immensely complicated the process as Court members interacted with each other, seeking support for their respective positions. Some compromise was inevitable. With equal inevitability, personality and personal relations entered into the final product, although to what degree is uncertain. Responding to this variety of influences, the Truman appointees, as their decisions reveal, adopted an eclectic approach, picking and choosing from the established judge-made rules formulated over the years to assist judges in reaching their decisions.


Originally published by Greenwood Press in 1988.