Library JournalThis third volume in the Congressional Quarterly's ``Encyclopedia of American Government'' series (the previous two are Congress A to Z , 1993. 2d. ed. and The Presidency A to Z , LJ 3/1/93) is a useful and easy-to-read summary reference work to all aspects of the U.S. Supreme Court, past and present. It does not attempt to be an extensive, in-depth legal treatise. (That would take a multivolume set!) Topics, which range from abortion to zoning, are arranged alphabetically with appropriate cross references to sections that provide further information. For most issues discussed, a historical overview essay is provided for all relevant cases, as is an explanation of how the court's decisions have changed (or not changed) over the years as interpretations evolve. The editors also discuss the working of the court, showing how cases arise, how they are argued, and how the justices meet in conference to decide them. Highly recommended. See also The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States , LJ 9/1/92, selected as a LJ Best Reference Source of 1992.--Ed. --Philip Y. Blue, Dowling Coll . Lib ., Oakdale, N . Y .
School Library JournalGr 7 Up-This third volume in the series follows the same alphabetical format as Congress A to Z (The Presidency A to Z (1992, both Congressional Quarterly). Entries ranging in length from a single paragraph to four or more pages cover an array of information about the Supreme Court: historical information, landmark decisions, Constitutional issues, biographies of justices, and definitions of legal terms pertaining to the Court. Readers will find information on affirmative action, the Bill of Rights, child labor, commerce labor, impeachment, school prayer, freedom of religion, the taxing power of Congress, and more. Photographs accompany biographies of justices; other pictures and drawings are included. Political cartoons, charts, statistical tables, and diagrams are other visual aids that enhance textual information. Facts on File's Reference Guide to the United States Supreme Court (1986), while covering the same subject, does so in a topical format with lengthy articles on major themes pertaining to the Court. The ready reference format of The Supreme Court A to Z, which is presented in an easy-to-read format with bold headings, double columns, and cross references, makes it an essential addition to most collections.- Dana McDougald, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens, GA
Zom ZomsCQ's Encyclopedia of American Government consists of three volumes: "The Presidency A to Z" ["RBB" Mr 15 93], "Congress A to Z", 2d ed. (1993), and now "The Supreme Court A to Z". Each is arranged alphabetically and includes essay-length articles that explain broad concepts, short entries that define relevant terms, and brief biographies of key personnel Editor Witt is deputy publisher of "Governing" magazine and editor of the second edition of CQ's "Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court" ["RBB" My 1 90]. The entries were written by a team of CQ writers Although designed for ready-reference use, browsing the volume offers valuable insight into the history, operations, and significance of the Supreme Court. There are lengthy articles on major issues addressed by the Court, such as abortion, search and seizure, and zoning. Various traditions of the Court are described (if not explained), among them the placing of white quill pens at the attorneys' tables. Also covered are pay and perquisites of the Justices, rules of seniority, and the size of the Court at different periods. The Court's procedures (appeal, argument, confirmation, rulings, etc.) are outlined, as is the evolution of the library, the building, and certain positions (administrative assistant to the Chief Justice, clerks). The entry "Historic Milestones" provides a quick overview of the history of the Court. Biographical sketches cover the Justices, of course, but also include presidents whose terms impacted heavily on the Supreme Court Appendixes include a selected bibliography, a chart of the U.S. government, and a table of Supreme Court nominations, 1789-1992. Also included is a seat chart of the Justices; it is not clear from this chart or from the entry "Size of the Court" why seat number 8 was abolished, although there are seats 9 and 10. There is an excellent index, and many entries include cross-references. Black-and-white photographs of justices and a few other illustrations add interest Although much of the information in this volume duplicates CQ's "The Supreme Court at Work" (1990) and "The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Beginnings & Its Justices, 1790-1991", compiled by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution in 1992, this is a recommended purchase. The simple language, the A-Z arrangement, and the fact that it completes a three-volume set are all pluses.
Booknewsother historical material on the Court. Includes b&w illustrations. The final work in the three-volume series, this volume examines the Supreme Court's role in the federal system and explains the powers and limitations it possesses as the nation's highest court. Essays cover topics ranging from the development and historical significance of landmark Court cases to the Court's influence on contemporary issues like abortion, school prayer, and censorship. Shorter entries offer concise definitions of legal terms. Brief biographies of all justices are included, and the origins of nearly all constitutional amendments are examined in detail. Charts and tables provide statistical data and Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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