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The Vinson Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy

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By Michal R. Belknap

The Vinson Court summons students and legal professionals to understand the impact and tensions of Fred Vinson's term as Chief Justice from 1946–1953. Court scholar Michal R. Belknap explores McCarthyism, the Cold War, racial segregation, and capital punishment from the Supreme Court's view. These controversies shaped the most important decision on presidential powers, restrictions on political expression, and a nasty conflict over the Rosenbergs. Significant rulings are reviewed, and the 12 justices on the Vinson Court including Felix Frankfurter and Hugo Black are introduced. Clashes were common between some of the Supreme Court's strongest personalities, and these are highlighted throughout the text. The court's legacy completes this powerful study of constitutional law.