Cover image for Constitutional rights sourcebook
Constitutional rights sourcebook
Renstrom, Peter G., 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxi, 770 pages ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
The Constitution and the Supreme Court: a brief introduction -- The First Amendment --The Fourth Amendment -- The Fifth Amendment -- The Sixth Amendment -- The Eighth Amendment -- Equal protection and privacy -- Legal words and phrases -- Appendices: Constitution of the United States -- Justices of the Supreme Court -- Court composition since 1900.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4550.Z9 R463 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Constitutional Rights Sourcebook examines fundamental ideas of constitutionalism and American constitutional law through case summaries. The U.S. Supreme Court as an institution is featured and its rulings and rationale are represented throughout the work, beginning with a thorough treatment of the current court and including all the significant rulings since the mid-1980s.

Author Notes

Peter G. Renstrom is professor of political science at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.

Reviews 3

Library Journal Review

Methodically and meticulously, Renstrom, a political science professor and constitutional law scholar, takes the reader through a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the individual rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Particular attention is focused on the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, which together form the bulwark of American liberties and the fountain from which they spring. Renstrom's unique approach is to index rights-based amendments in a user-friendly manner that enables the legal novice to pinpoint analysis and commentary via a process of stepwise refinement from general subtopics within each amendment to specific concepts that address key issues. Each concept is fully developed and discussed at the adversarial level, and the discussion is replete with references and analysis drawn from applicable case law. The evolution of legal concepts is traced from one era to another whenever social and political change beget or warrant judicial reinterpretation, as with the flag-burning controversy of the 1980s. A common theme is the dynamism and fluidity of a body of law that can change to meet the changing needs of an evolving society while still firmly maintaining and even strengthening fundamental rights and liberties. This book should find a home in a number of library settings, from public libraries serving the general public to academic libraries serving the needs of budding scholars.√ĄPhilip Young Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-An informed guide to the language and major decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in the area of Constitutional rights. The first chapter provides background on the development of the Constitution and examines the Supreme Court's role in its interpretation. The chapters that follow present clear overviews of the amendments as well as closer looks at some specific cases and their significance. They provide an excellent examination of the history and current relevance of these landmark cases. The final chapter provides definitions and discussions of legal terms and phrases. Appendixes include the text of the U.S. Constitution, a list of the justices of the Supreme Court, and a record of the "Court Compositions since 1900." U.S. Court Cases (Salem, 1999) discusses the fundamental issues of the law, courts, and justice and presents brief descriptions of 212 court cases while Kermit Hall's The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (Oxford, 1992) is an alphabetical guide to its history and operation. The Constitutional Rights Sourcebook is unique in its focus on the individual amendments and its discussions of the evolution of decisions including those that reflect the current thinking of the Supreme Court.-Dana McDougald, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Renstrom intends this "sourcebook" on constitutional rights to serve a variety of purposes. In fact, law students and more advanced readers will probably find its lengthy analysis of cases most valuable. Unlike classic textbooks in constitutional law, Renstrom's work dutifully excerpts only the most relevant quotations and statements from important Supreme Court holdings. Left behind is the tedious and meandering legal rhetoric that so often prevails in the Court's original opinions. One may reasonably challenge some of the author's editorial decisions (for example, why highlight the Webster decision as a principle case instead of Casey, which trumped Webster three years later as the controlling precedent on abortion rights?). Still, for many this book may effectively accomplish one of its primary goals: to provide a supplemental text for consideration of complex constitutional rights cases, to be used alongside traditional textbooks featuring primary Supreme Court materials. The chapter that provides detailed analysis of "legal words and phrases" may well be the book's most useful section of all, going well beyond the normal one- or two-sentence descriptions contained in the "glossary" of most constitutional law texts. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals. D. Yalof; University of Connecticut

Table of Contents

Note on How to Use This Bookp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Alphabetical List of Case Entriesp. xv
1. The Constitution and the Supreme Court: A Brief Introductionp. 1
2. The First Amendmentp. 19
3. The Fourth Amendmentp. 189
4. The Fifth Amendmentp. 261
5. The Sixth Amendmentp. 317
6. The Eighth Amendmentp. 393
7. Equal Protection and Privacyp. 463
8. Legal Words and Phrasesp. 607
Appendix A Constitution of the United Statesp. 713
Appendix B Justices of the Supreme Courtp. 733
Appendix C Court Composition since 1900p. 737
Indexp. 741