The Erwin N. Griswold Prize isn’t awarded every year. Instead, the Supreme Court Historical Society names a winner when a book on Supreme Court history stands out enough to merit this prestigious honor. For just the seventh time, and the first time since 2009, the Society has named a winner: Nixon’s Court, by Kevin J. McMahon, John R. Reitemeyer Professor of Political Science.
Many scholars have held that President Richard Nixon failed in his efforts to challenge the liberal approach of the Warren court. In Nixon’s Court, McMahon maintains that Nixon’s strategy was in fact a success from both a legal and political perspective. He argues that Nixon was able to earn the Supreme Court’s endorsement of his highest priorities while simultaneously laying the foundation of an electoral alliance that would dominate presidential politics for a generation.
The 2011 book, published by the University of Chicago Press, was previously named the 2012 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. McMahon also won the American Political Science Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Award for his 2004 book, Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown.
As the winner of the Griswold Prize, McMahon will deliver a lecture on his book in the chamber of the United States Supreme Court in early 2015. He will be introduced by a current Supreme Court Justice.
The prize is named for Erwin N. Griswold, former Solicitor General of the United States, Dean of the Harvard Law School, and Chairman of the Supreme Court Historical Society. McMahon is joined by just six fellow scholars who have received this award: David Currie, Gerald Gunther, Andrew L. Kaufman, Edward A. Purcell, Jr., George Martin, and Melvin Urofsky.
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