In Professor Maloy's latest book, America's Supreme Court: An Unfinished Symphony, by reviewing 182 cases decided by the Supreme Court he envisions the Court's 216 year history, from 1789 through 2005, as being divided, like most symphonic works, into four distinct compartments, or movements. The first movement, composed of the Court led by three Chief Justices, made a hesitant start, during which it was not even given a suitable place in which to hold court. This tentative beginning was followed by the second movement under the leadership of two dynamic and forceful leaders' John Marshall and Roger Taney. The Court's third period, it longest in term of years, had eight Chief Justices. Some, such as Charles Evans Hughes, were brilliant leaders, others, though competent judges, did not possess the leadership abilities one might expect of Chief Justices of the nation;s highest court. Nonetheless the third movement helped form a nation beyond its developing stage, but not quite at the peak of its progress. The final movement under Chief Justices Earl Warren, Warren Earl Burger, and William Rehnquist. continued the Supreme Court's â symphony with a crescendo of decisions emanating from a background of lightening-like changes and incongruous social patterns.
The Court's fourth movement, dramatic as it is, does not conclude its history; hence the Court's work, at this point, is unfinished. The author does not attempt to predict what the present Court, under Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will do. Like all other interested observers, Prof. Maloy waits to see whether the present Court's members add to its fourth movement, or construct a completely new one out of the cases it will decide that arise in the ever-changing and unpredictable time in which the world exists.
Professor Richard H.W. Maloy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Miami. During his 34 years of law practice in Miami, Florida he was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami and the author of books on appellate practice, pleadings and bankruptcy. For 25 years he continually updated his 14 volume set of Florida Forms of Practice for the major law book publisher, Matthew Bender & Co. He has been on the faculty of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami since 1991, and is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at that school, where he teaches Conflict of Laws and Remedies.