Share this

A Storm over This Court: Law, Politics, and Supreme Court Decision Making in Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey D. Hockett

Reviewed by Sabrina Zirkel



At this 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey D. Hockett offers us a new interpretation of the dilemmas, debates, and deliberations that members of the Court engaged in on their way to this decision. Hockett challenges conceptualizations of the decision in Brown as emerging purely from any one set of motives and that it can be analyzed through only one theoretical or methodological lens. Instead, he argues through painstaking review of the discussions between the justices about the case and early drafts of opinions that different justices were swayed by different arguments, took into account different considerations, and made different compromises. In short: There was no “one” road to Brown v. Board—there were potentially as many paths as there were justices.

Did the justices, as Bork argues in The Tempting of America: The Seduction of the Law, act on their own personal beliefs in Brown? Was Brown,ashe claims, the beginning of judicial activism and the signal of a new Court, untethered to judicial prudence? Or did they act to defend the honor of the Court, seeing that public opinion was moving in the direction of racial integra­tion and that this was the correct way to go regardless of t

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

North Korea and the West

The Debate over North Korea


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS