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The Supreme Court has continued to write constitutional history over the thirteen years since publication of the highly acclaimed first edition of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court. Two new justices have joined the high court, more than 800 cases have been decided, and a good deal of new scholarship has appeared on many of the topics treated in the Companion. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presided over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, and the Court as a whole played a decisive and controversial role in the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. Under Rehnquists's leadership, a bare majority of the justices have rewritten significant areas of the law dealing with federalism, sovereign immunity, and the commerce power.
This new edition includes new entries on key cases and fully updated treatment of crucial areas of constitutional law, such as abortion, freedom of religion, school desegregation, freedom of speech, voting rights, military tribunals, and the rights of the accused. These developments make the second edition of this accessible and authoritative guide essential for judges, lawyers, academics, journalists, and anyone interested in the impact of the Court's decisions on American society.
In this goldmine of information on one of the central institutions of American life, readers find everything one would want to know about the Supreme Court. Includes biographies of every justice as well as rejected nominees and other prominent judges, every major case ever decided, issues that have confronted the Court, constitutional amendments, and more. Thousands of entries. 100 illustrations.
Posted February 25, 2010
It is a well written work that would be of interest to historians & political science students. Be aware that the authors do not fully explain the context of each of the cases. For example, the Bush v. Gore case was not given a full contextual basis. There were 2 decisions made with this particular case (I have studied this case) but it is not clear from the brief explanation given.
Bearing in mind that the authors chose to be brief & leave out a number of contextual basics, it is a good reference book to find cases of interest.
Posted July 18, 2001
_The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States_ ranks among the top five reference works I have perused. Actually, I read this one all the way through, from A to Z. It is the ultimate one-volume guide to American jurisprudence. There are multi-paragraph summaries of just about every High Court case of lasting significance, excellent and detailed biographies and photographs/illustrations of all the Justices through Clarence Thomas, detailed explanations of all the legal, political and historical principles and terms needed to understand the Court and its workings, and, as an added bonus, excellent biographies of figures (such as Judge Learned Hand and defeated nominees such as Haynsworth and Bork) who never served on the Court but had an influence on it in one way or another. In short, this is the only book on the Supreme Court that a layman should ever need. I can't recommend it enough - it should be the home of every educated person with an interest in the law.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2009
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