An illustration of a face on a book cover

Stephen Vladeck ’01, who holds the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law, shines light on The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic (Basic Books). This bestseller points out how, since 2017, the conservative majority on SCOTUS has dramatically increased the use of a secretive process to rule on such consequential issues as abortion and immigration without public hearings or explanations. Vladeck has argued cases before the U.S. and Texas Supreme Courts and co-hosts The National Security Law Podcast.

Editors Ryan Vacca ’01 and Ann Bartow zoom in on one particular late member of the Supreme Court with The Jurisprudential Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (NYU Press). The volume brings together the writings of numerous legal scholars to evaluate Ginsburg’s impact on gender equality, employment law, voting rights, the death penalty and more. Amherst professor Austin Sarat describes the book as “admiring and yet critical and filled with fascinating insights throughout.” Vacca teaches at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law.

R.B. Bernstein ’77—who, until his death in June 2023, was a lecturer at the City College of New York and distinguished adjunct professor at New York Law School—made a name for himself with biographies of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, among other books. Now available is his concise overview of the life and work of Hamilton: The Energetic Founder (Oxford University Press). In just 136 pages, Bernstein considers Alexander Hamilton’s roles in the American Revolution, constitutional law, economics and diplomacy, as well as in “honor culture,” which infamously led to his death in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

Illustration by Jam Dong