May It Please the Court: Courts, Kids, and the Constitution

May It Please the Court: Courts, Kids, and the Constitution

by Peter H. Irons
     
 

Until The New Press first published May It Please the Court in 1993, few Americans knew that every case argued before the Supreme Court since 1955 had been recorded. The original book-and-tape set was a revelation to readers and reviewers, quickly becoming a bestseller and garnering praise across the nation.

May It Please the Court includes both

Overview

Until The New Press first published May It Please the Court in 1993, few Americans knew that every case argued before the Supreme Court since 1955 had been recorded. The original book-and-tape set was a revelation to readers and reviewers, quickly becoming a bestseller and garnering praise across the nation.

May It Please the Court includes both live recordings and transcripts of oral arguments in twenty-three of the most significant cases argued before the Supreme Court in the second half of the twentiethcentury. This edition makes the recordings available on an MP3 audio CD. Through the voices of some of the nation’s most important lawyers and justices, including Thurgood Marshall, Archibald Cox, and Earl Warren, it offers a chance to hear firsthand our justice system at work, in the highest court of the land.

Cases included: Gideon v. Wainwright (right to counsel) Abington School District v. Schempp (school prayer) Miranda v. Arizona (“the right to remain silent”) Roe v. Wade (abortion rights) Edwards v. Aguillard (teaching “creationism”) Regents v. Bakke (reverse discrimination) Wisconsin v. Yoder (compulsory schooling for the Amish) Tinker v. Des Moines (Vietnam protest in schools) Texas v. Johnson (flag burning) New York Times v. United States (Pentagon Papers) Cox v. Louisiana (civil rights demonstrations) Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board (freedom of association) Terry v. Ohio (“stop and frisk” by police) Gregg v. Georgia (capital punishment) Cooper v. Aaron (Little Rock school desegregation) Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (public accommodations) Palmer v. Thompson (swimming pool integration) Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriage) San Antonio v. Rodriguez (equal funding for public schools) Bowers v. Hardwick (homosexual rights) Baker v. Carr (“one person, one vote”) United States v. Nixon (Watergate tapes) DeShaney v. Winnebago County (child abuse)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"One of the most effective teaching tools available." —The Washington Post

"A front-row seat in America’s most powerful courtroom, where very, very few have had the opportunity to sit." —American Bar Association Journal

"A treasure trove . . . that provides insight into the Supreme Court and the judicial process that is otherwise available only to those who find themselves in Washington, D.C., at just the right time." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A strong and direct whiff of history." —The New York Times Book Review

bn.com
A sequel to the original book and tape set, May It Please the Court focuses on Supreme Court cases involving students' and teachers' constitutional rights. In many towns and cities, public schools become the arena in which conflicts that begin in homes, churches, and meeting halls are fought. Issues involving prayer, newspaper and library censorship, political protest, drug testing, illegal aliens, and corporal punishment spill into classrooms and result in lawsuits. This new set of landmark "school rights" cases features narrated tape recordings of 16 actual oral arguments made before the Supreme Court, together with a book of transcripts and excerpts from the Supreme Court's rulings. Featuring nationally known figures, including attorney Kenneth Starr and Justices Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, May It Please the Court offers an unrivaled view of the Supreme Court in action and an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of the most explosive constitutional debates of our time.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1993, political science professor Irons (UC San Diego) launched May It Please the Court, a series of sets of audiocassettes and transcripts of seminal Supreme Court sessions (the Court started taping its sessions in 1955 but until the first volume of May It Please the Court had restricted access to the tapes). This fourth installment features oral arguments in 16 cases implicating the constitutional rights of students and teachers in middle and high schools. The cases range widely from topics like busing and school prayer to drug testing, newspaper censorship and corporal punishment. Some of these cases set important legal precedents, such as Goss v. Lopez, which determined the due process rights of students facing suspension. Other cases present tricky factual issues that leave the law uncertain, such as New Jersey v. T.L.O., which addressed how far a principal may go in searching a student's purse. But students and general readers will have no trouble following even the knottiest arguments, thanks to Irons's plainspoken narration, crisp editing and occasional forthright asides. Both tapes and text include excerpts from oral arguments made before the Court, questions by the justices and majority and dissenting opinions. Readers and listeners will be enlightened, and entertained as well, as sparks fly between passionate, sometimes tongue-tied lawyers and the testy justices grilling them from the bench. (Two justices stand out--Thurgood Marshall, for his pointed and witty exchanges, and Antonin Scalia, who interrupts both lawyers and fellow justices with caustic rhetoric). Irons occasionally fails to identify which justice is speaking, attributing his or her question merely to the "Court," but this one flaw does not detract significantly from a valuable, even noble project. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
In the last 40 years, students' rights have been a major source of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including issues of prayer in the public schools, busing across district lines to achieve racial balance, and mandatory drug testing for student athletes. In this fourth installment in the "May It Please the Court" series, political scientist Irons (director, Earl Warren Bill of Rights Project, Univ. of California, San Diego) has edited and narrated a combination of live recordings and transcripts of 16 U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments. The book-and-tape package (there are four 90-minute cassettes) concern the constitutional rights of students and teachers, providing innovative material for high school and college classes. There is, moreover, an edited Supreme Court opinion from each of these landmark "school rights" cases. Irons's edited transcripts give equal weight to opposing lawyers' central arguments. The book and tapes give public and academic libraries an excellent way to inform readers about constitutional principles and decisions. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Booknews
This package comprises cassettes with narrated records of actual oral arguments made before the Supreme Court, along with a book of transcripts identifying the speakers and putting the cases in context. Featuring nationally known figures, including attorney Kenneth Starr and Justices Thurgood Marshal and Earl Warren, it offers a close-up view of the Supreme Court and an opportunity to explore some of the most explosive constitutional debates of our time. Edited by Peter Irons (political science, U. of California, San Diego. Distributed by W.W. Norton. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565846135
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
09/01/2000
Series:
May It Please the Court Series
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 2.14(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Peter H. Irons is emeritus professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of numerous books on the Supreme Court and constitutional litigation, including Jim Crow’s Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision and A People’s History of the Supreme Court. He is a co-editor of May It Please the Court: The Most Significant Oral Arguments Made Before the Supreme Court Since 1955 (with Stephanie Guitton), May It Please the Court: The First Amendment: Live Recordings and Transcripts of the Oral Arguments Made Before the Supreme Court in Sixteen Key First Amendment Cases, and May It Please the Court: Courts, Kids, and the Constitution: Live Recordings and Transcripts of Sixteen Supreme Court Oral Arguments on the Constitutional Rights of Students and Teachers, all published by The New Press. He has also contributed to numerous law reviews and other journals. He was chosen in 1988 as the first Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Human Rights at Rutgers University. He has been invited to lecture on constitutional law and civil liberties at the law schools of Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, and Stanford and at more than twenty other schools. In addition to his academic work, Irons has been active in public affairs. He is a practicing civil rights and liberties attorney and was lead counsel in the 1980s in the successful effort to reverse the World War II criminal convictions of Japanese Americans who had challenged the curfew and relocation orders. He was also elected to two terms on the national board of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Stephanie Guitton is a graduate of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a law degree from the University of Poitiers in France.

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