"Bravo! Manley and Brown's new volume does its predecessor proud. With its publication, we now have a highly readable account of the first 150 years of the Florida Supreme Court."--Robert M. Jarvis, Nova Southeastern University
Brown and Manley, two award-winning legal and Florida history scholars, offer an in-depth analysis of the court, the individuals who sat on its bench, the major subject areas of appeals it considered, and the influences that propelled its evolution during an era that was crucial to Florida's emergence as a national force. This court presided through two world wars, the issues of desegregation and growth management, court scandals, and the emergence of drug trafficking in South Florida. In a series of distinct but connected vignettes that draw effectively on oral interviews, the volume provides the first examination of the events that shaped the Florida Supreme Court. One of the few such studies of any state supreme court in the United States, it provides insights into judicial, political, and governmental processes applicable beyond the state. Further, it places hundreds of crucial court decisions within the context of state and national history.
The authors delve deeply into controversies within the supreme court, including the associations, interests, and actions of individual tribunal members. Justices forgotten by history or subjected to professional slight emerge as dynamic and positive factors while the reputations of others, previously heralded for their service, face a level of critical scrutiny they had eluded. All of the men who served on the tribunal during the period appear unencumbered by the mystique of their office. As such, the authors offer a solid foundation for understanding scandals that rocked the court in the mid-1970s. From these circumstances emerged the court whose decision to recount the 2000 presidential election votes was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Walter W. Manley II is professor of business administration at Florida State University. Canter Brown Jr. is special assistant and counsel to the president, Fort Valley State University (Ga.),
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An excellent resource for those interested in Florida's judicial history.
--Law and Politics Book Review
Readable and well researched, a welcome addition to the growing literature on state high courts. This volume will substantially advance our understanding of the Florida Supreme Court.
--Journal of Southern History
Successful in providing both the average reader as well as the judicial scholar a valuable tool in understanding the cases and justices that shaped the court throughout most of the twentieth century.