The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion (Oxford Student Companions to American Government)

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9780195150087: The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion (Oxford Student Companions to American Government)
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The Supreme Court of the United States is an illustrated A-to-Z guide that covers virtually all aspects of the U.S. Supreme Court, including biographical articles on all of the Justices, summaries and analysis of key decisions of the Court, articles on legal terms and statutes associated with the day-to-day operations of the court, the history of the Court, and essays on major Constitutional issues. The second edition includes new articles on major cases decided since the publication of the first edition in 1993, including Clinton v. City of New York (1998, concerning the Line Item Veto Act), Agonstini v. Felton (1997, concerning the separation of church and state), and Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997, regarding the government regulation of mass-media communications). There are also new general articles on African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Women in the Judicial branch. Illustrations include portraits, cartoons, and Supreme Court memorabilia. Articles are cross-referenced with suggestions for further reading listed at the end of each article as we as at the end of the book. An extensive list of Supreme Court-related websites now supplements the further reading.

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About the Author:


John J. Patrick is a Professor Emeritus of Education and Director of Social Studies Development Center at Indiana University.

From Booklist:

Designed for students 12 years of age and older, this resource contains information related to many aspects of the Supreme Court, including its structure, history, origins, development, composition, functions, duties, and objectives. In this second edition, content has been expanded and updated to reflect recent rulings and to describe the current status and significance of certain controversial topics, such as abortion and affirmative action. The alphabetically arranged entries tend to fall into one of the following categories: biographies; decisions of the court; core concepts, ideas, and issues; legal terms and phrases; and procedures, practices, and personnel.

Readers encounter few surprises in the entries devoted to biographies and decisions. Personal information is provided for all justices--both chief and associate--and each entry contains a short section detailing the individual's contribution to important decisions and cases. One hundred significant cases are profiled, among them Brown v. Board of Education, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Roe v. Wade, and each is accompanied by background information, the official citation from United States Reports, voting results for the case, concurring and dissenting opinions, and how this decision has affected constitutional law.

Those entries that would be best described as core concepts, ideas, and issues discuss fundamentals of constitutionalism and certain rights and freedoms that have dramatically altered American notions of liberty and justice--for instance, Bill of Rights, Civil rights, Freedom of speech and press. This information would be incomplete, however, if not for the entries that treat terms, procedures, and practices. With terms such as Decision days, Habeas corpus, and Per curiam, readers gain helpful insights into the Court's processes, routines, and daily operation.

Overall, this resource is excellent and will be a boon to students wanting a more introductory guide than titles such as Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court [RBB F 15 01]. Readers will appreciate the balanced, well-researched entries and the book's organization and structure, both of which are very user-friendly. Photographs, several appendixes--one listing relevant Web sites--and an index enhance an already fine reference tool that is highly recommended for all high-school and public libraries. RBB
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