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Losing Twice: Harms of Indifference in the Supreme Court

 

Review by Biddle intern Mark Popielarski.

losing twice-sm.jpgSummer’s here and that means a break from long hours studying case law and statutes. Why not enjoy the summer outdoors with Losing Twice:  Harms of Indifference in the Supreme Court, by Emily M. Calhoun (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011) a fascinating and accessible new addition to the Biddle Library collection.

When a case goes before the Supreme Court, there is typically a clear winner and a clear loser. However, when it comes to constitutional law questions, stakeholders may suffer harm despite the lack of any transgressions -- hence, "losing twice."  Often, constitutional stakeholders only seek recognition of their perceived rights. 
 
Losing Twice examines the ethical implications when Supreme Court justices fail to appreciate their “harm amelioration” or harm avoidance responsibilities, when their opinions, regardless of outcome, ignore fundamental considerations of human dignity.  Since Professor Calhoun advocates for citizen involvement in legal dialogue, her book avoids getting bogged down in legalese. However, hardcore researchers can satisfy their informational thirst with extensive bibliographic essays supplied at the end of the book. At 172 pages, Losing Twice provides an intriguing perspective on Supreme Court attitudes and behaviors, without becoming an unintentional summer research project in itself. So, if you’re looking for an interesting read while lounging around the beach this summer, why not check out Losing Twice?