Great Decisions of The U.S. Supreme Courtby Maureen Harrison (Editor), Steve Gilbert (Editor)
The sixteen decisions
In its long history the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down thousands of individual decisions. All have been important to the parties involved, but a significant few have grown so important as to involve all Americans. These decisions respond and give shape to the great continuing debates and controversies of American history and politics.
The sixteen decisions presented here are landmarks in the history of American constitutional law, dealing with cases touching on the most pressing issues of our society. Among these cases are Marbury v. Madison (which established the principle of judicial review), Dred Scott v. Sandford (slavery), plessy v. Ferguson (the notion of "separate but equal") Schnek v. United States (the limits of free speech). Also included are the momentous decision concerning the contested 2000 presidential election and the complete text of the Constitution of the United States.
Each decision is represented by the majority opinion as expressed by the justice chosen to speak for the Court. This opinion becomes the settled law of the land, a constitutional precedent binding on all other courts. In several cases the editors have also included dissenting opinions, which express the personal, legally non-binding views of justices in the minority. Some of these opinions illuminate points that will inform future Court decisions.
The complete texts of Supreme Court decisions are laden with alpha-numeric legal citations and wrangles over points of procedure - these have been edited out for greater readability. Esoteric legalese has been replaced (but always noted) with understandable, everyday English, and the definitions of legal terms used are provided within the text.
- Sterling Publishing
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