Cover image for Constitutional law stories
Constitutional law stories
Dorf, Michael C.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Foundation Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
vii, 540 pages ; 26 cm
Introduction: Putting the people back in "We the people" / Story of Marbury v. Madison: making defeat look like victory / Story of McCulloch: banking on national power / Story of Wickard v. Filburn: agriculture, aggregation, and Congressional power over commerce / Story of Clinton v. Jones: Presidential promiscuity and the paths of constitutional retribution / Story of Dred Scott: originalism's forgotten past / Story of Plessy v. Ferguson: the death and resurrection of racial formalism / Story of Brown v. City of Oneonta: the uncertain meaning of racially discriminatory policing under the equal protection clause / Story of Korematsu: the Japanese-American cases / Story of Baker v. Carr / Story of Lochner v. New York: impediment to the growth of the regulatory state / David E. Bernstein -- Story of Roe v. Wade: from a garage sale for women's lib, to the Supreme Court, to political turmoil / Story of Whitney v. California: the power of ideas / Story of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: the pledge of allegiance and the freedom of thought / Story of Al Smith: the first amendment meets grandfather peyote
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4549 .C658 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This publication provides a student with an understanding of ten leading U.S. constitutional law cases, focusing on how the litigation was shaped by lawyers, judges and socioeconomic factors, and why the cases have attained landmark status. It is suitable for adoption as a supplement in an introductory constitutional law course, or as a text for an advanced seminar.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In recent years several volumes have sought to depict the political, historical, and human side of significant US Supreme Court decisions. Constitutional Law Stories focuses less on the human than the political, but is still one of the better works of the genre. Designed primarily as a supplement for courses in constitutional law, the book is divided into sections on governmental structures, equality, and individual liberties; the cases discussed are mostly staples such as Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Baker v. Carr. Contemporary cases are slighted; surprisingly, no recent federalism or Establishment Clause decisions are included. Nevertheless, most of the contributors address contemporary ramifications in addition to providing rich historical and political context. Particularly insightful are Neil Gotanda's treatment of Arab-American profiling in his chapter on Korematsu v. U.S., and Jim Chen's discussion of the economic and doctrinal legacy of Wickard v. Filburn. R. Richard Bank's discussion of Brown v. Oneonta (the book's sole lower court decision) is perhaps the most intriguing chapter; racial profiling is shown as constitutionally suspect yet arguably sociologically inevitable. Readers well versed in constitutional interpretation will find this collection valuable. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. E. Smith Northwest Missouri State University