2008-05-14 [Press Release] New Book by Frederick Lane — “The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court”


BURLINGTON, VT — Vermont author and expert witness Frederick Lane is pleased to announce the general availability of his fourth book, “The Court and the Cross: The Religious Right’s Crusade to Reshape the Supreme Court” (Beacon 2008). “The Court and the Cross” is a detailed look at the efforts of the Religious Right over the last thirty years to use its growing political power to influence the nomination and selection of judges to the federal bench. The book concludes with a review of various church-state issues that have come before the United States Supreme Court, and an analysis of how such issues might be resolved in the future under differing Presidential scenarios. The implications of increasingly conservative decisions on church-state issues in our society are profound.

In a recent speech at Wake Forest University, Senator John McCain offered a clear standard for the justices he intends to appoint: He is a strong admirer of Justices Roberts, Alito, and Rehnquist. Although neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton has discussed the issue in depth, Lane believes that future Supreme Court appointments will be a critical issue in the 2008 election. Currently, six of the nine justices (including the entire liberal wing of the Court) are over the age of 65: John Paul Stevens (88), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (75), Antonin Scalia (72), Anthony Kennedy (71), Stephen Breyer (69), and David Souter (68).

Lane’s previous books include: “The Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture” (Prometheus Books 2006), which led to an appearance on “The Daily Show with John Stewart”; “The Naked Employee: How Technology Is Compromising Workplace Privacy” (Amacom 2003); and “Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Privacy in the Cyber Age” (Routledge 2000). In addition to “The Daily Show,” he has also appeared on a variety of other national television programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America Weekend,” NBC’s “Weekend Today,” ABC’s “Nightline,” CBS’s “60 Minutes,” and assorted BBC documentaries. Lane’s next book is entitled “People in Glass Houses: American Law, Technology, and the Right to Privacy,” and is scheduled for publication in spring 2009 by Beacon.

“The Petrification of John McCain”

Lane is a frequent contributor to Beacon Press’s new blog, The Beacon Broadside (www.beaconbroadside.com). In a May 18 posting entitled “The Petrification of John McCain,” Lane discusses Senator McCain’s recent speech on the judiciary at Wake Forest University and the implications for the separation of church and state if Senator McCain wins the November election. The full blog post can be read at the following URL: http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2008/05/the-petrificati.html

Early Praise for The Court and the Cross (from the book jacket):

“Separation of church and state is so basic a part of American values and history that it is hard to realize it is under threat. But it is, profoundly. In The Court and the Cross Frederick Lane explains why: a relentless, determined and successful campaign by the Christian Right to put its supporters on the federal courts, especially the Supreme Court. It is a colorful and compelling book.” — Anthony Lewis, author of Gideon’s Trumpet and Freedom for the Thought We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment

“The Court and the Cross is a commendable and sobering account of the scope and significance of the Christian Right’s incessant efforts to make a mockery of core constitutional principle. Not only does it elegantly review key Supreme Court cases about religion, but points to the extensive range of social issues the Right is working to get up for examination before our highest court, an increasingly conservative body. If you are not sure that the decisions of the Supreme Court ‘matter much’ to you in your daily life, read The Court and the Cross and I guarantee you’ll be rethinking that position. The Court’s erosion of your individual religious freedom and the dictates of your conscience has already begun.” — Rev. Barry Lynn, author of Piety & Politics and Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State

“In The Court and the Cross, Frederick S. Lane spotlights what ought to be one of the most critical issues in this election year: the religious right’s successful long-term effort to reshape the Supreme Court and the entire federal judiciary. With wit, legal erudition and political acumen, Lane explains exactly why the power to appoint federal judges with lifetime tenure may be a president’s most significant legacy and why liberals have been asleep at the switch while conservatives have had their way with the courts. This timely and disturbing book offers a much-needed wakeup call to all who cherish our Constitution and understand that the separation of church and state was America’s founding gift to its own citizens and the world.” — Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

“Nowhere has the religious right’s effort to remake America been more successful, or more poorly understood, than in its campaign to control the courts, a campaign rooted in a revisionist history that seeks to write secularism out of the nation’s past. Frederick Lane’s illuminating, important The Court and the Cross punctures the movement’s canards and deftly explains what’s at stake. Grounded in a fascinating history, this is compelling, crucial book.” — Michelle Goldberg, author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism


Frederick Lane

Leah Riviere
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108

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