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Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. is an absorbing and readable biography of one of the most important Supreme Court Justices since World War II. From abortion to affirmative action to the constitutionality of capital punishment, Powell's pivotal votes helped determine the great issues of our time. Nominated to the Supreme Court in 1971, along with future Chief Justice William H. Rebnquist, Powell was expected to join a staunchly conservative bloc of Nixon appointees who would roli back the innovations of the Warren Court. Instead, Powell quickly established himself as an independent voice, the decisive ""swing"" vote at the center of an ideologically divided Court. With access to Powell's private papers, author John Jeffries provides an engrossing insider's account of the most controversial decisions of Powell's carcer. These include Roe v. Wade, which first extended constitutional protection to abortion; the Bakke decision, which allowed, but set limits on, race-based affirmative action; decisions wrestling with the constitutionality of the death penalty; the Watergate tapes case, which led to the resignation of a President; decisions on school desegregation and busing; and Bowers v. Har