Thursday November 15, 2012

MANCHESTER CENTER -- New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is coming to the Maple Street School this weekend for a live stage conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue, host of "The Bookshow" as part of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and the Northshire Bookstore's series "Off the Shelf: Authors in Conversation." Toobin will be there in support of his new book "The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court."

The book takes its name from Barack Obama's inauguration, where Chief Justice John Roberts flubbed the oath of office. From there the book chronicles the relationship between the apexes of the Executive and Judicial branches of the U.S.government in the past three plus years.

Toobin looks at some of the major decisions of the court in recent history including the "Citizens United" case and the "Affordable Care Act," casually known as Obamacare.

"I was completely flabbergasted by Roberts' decision to uphold the (health care) law," Toobin said. "One of the things I did in the book was try to untangle why he voted the way he did."

As for the future of the court, Toobin expects that the immediate future won't see many changes in its makeup.

"I think the ideological balance of five conservatives and four liberals will at least be maintained for a while, but it's entirely possible that President Obama will be able to change the balance in his favor and that would be a real earthquake," he said.


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Toobin is the author of several books including "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court," which focused on the Rehnquist court. Both "The Nine" and "The Oath" focused on sometimes less publicized aspects of the Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court is a political institution like the other branches of government, and that the justices are human beings that have quirks and idiosyncrasies that reflect how the court operates," he said.

Toobin said he that while he plans to take a break from writing about the Court, he won't disappear from analyzing the judicial branch completely.

The event will take place at the Maple Street School in Manchester Center on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $31 for a copy of Toobin's book with ticket or $8 for just the ticket. Toobin will be signing after the event.