Cover image for Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court
Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court
Savage, D. G. (David G.)
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court / Joan Biskupic and Elder Witt. 3rd ed. c1997.
Corporate Subject:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF8742 .W567 2004 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
KF8742 .W567 2004 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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No other reference on the US Supreme Court offers so much detail and insight in so readable a format. Now revised and updated through 2003, this classic reference explains everything readers need to know about the Supreme Court, from its origins and how it functions, to the people who have shaped it and the impact of its decisions on American life. The new fourth edition includes recent events, cases and controversies that have molded a distinct legacy for the Rehnquist Court: from the firestorm over Bush v. Gore, the landmark gay-rights decision in Lawrence v. Texas, and the recent University of Michigan affirmative action decisions, to the rejuvenation of states rights, the Rehnquist Court has rewritten Supreme Court history. Guide to the US Supreme Court covers the Court's entire history; its operations; its power in relation to other branches of government; major decisions affecting the other branches, the states, individual rights and liberties; and biographies of the justices. Appendixes provide additional information on the Court such as the Judiciary Acts of 1789 and 1925 and a list of Acts of Congress found by the Court to be unconstitutional. A general name and subject in

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This latest edition of a venerable reference work incorporates the work of the U.S. Supreme Court through the 2008-2009 term. The body of the work consists of 22 chapters divided into six parts. Volume 1 covers the history of the Court, how the Court has defined the powers of the branches and levels of government, and how the Court has addressed individual rights. In volume 2, part 4 describes congressional, presidential, media, and public pressures on the Court. Part 5 explains court operations, traditions, personnel, courtrooms, and costs. Part 6 provides brief biographies of the 111 justices. Each chapter concludes with footnotes. Appendixes include documents of national importance, Supreme Court nominations, a list of congressional acts held unconstitutional, a chronology of major decisions, a selected bibliography, and quotes and quips. Of particular interest is the analysis of personnel changes on the Court since the fourth edition of the Guide was published (2004). These are effectively portrayed through photographs and text. During this period, the Court saw an unusual amount of turnover, starting with John Roberts succeeding William Rehnquist as Chief Justice. Other changes include Samuel Alito replacing the first female Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor; and Sonia Sotomayor, the first appointee by President Obama, replacing David Souter. The Guide is designed to be read in sections so that the reader can focus on an area of law, an important decision, or some discrete element in the Court's history or operations. Therefore, the subject and case indexes are extremely important, and they live up to the task. The Guide will enhance any student's or researcher's study of the Supreme Court and is highly recommended for school, public, academic, law, and special libraries.--Lewis, Janice Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Savage, a Supreme Court reporter for the Los Angeles Times and author of two recent books on the Court, also prepared CQ's fourth edition in 2004. The first edition dates from 1979; the topical arrangement-e.g., "Origins," "Federal System," "Bill of Rights Protections," and "Court Interactions"-remains the same. The "Court at Work" section is exceptionally valuable for its insight into and excellent description of Court operations, including costs. Other useful chapters cover the Court and the media, a chronology of major decisions, quotes, and an excellent bibliography. The only competition to these thorough volumes would be an alphabetical arrangement such as that found in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2005), CQ's own Supreme Court Compendium (2007), Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court (Salem Pr., 2001), or the many substantial monographs. BOTTOM LINE This remains the standard one-stop source for answers to Supreme Court questions. Current through the confirmation of Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, it will work for your library either in paper or online and will engender and support hundreds of term papers at the college or high school level. Buy it.-Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. of Criminal Justice Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

"We are infallible," wrote US Supreme Court justice Robert H. Jackson, "only because we are final." The American people place great faith in the deliberations of the nine men and women who each year hand down decisions that define American democracy for years to come, a point Savage makes effectively in this fourth edition. He and his colleagues revised and expanded this highly-regarded reference work (3rd ed., CH, Sep'97), providing 20 chapters divided into six parts plus an excellent selection of reference materials. Among the themes are the history of the Court, its role in defining government and the rights of individuals, its relationships with the legislative and executive branches, the nature of the Court's organization and traditions, and brief biographies of the justices themselves. Savage acknowledges the work of previous editors, but also takes note of the new materials in this edition on religion, free speech, states' rights, capital punishment, and gay rights. Valuable both to general readers and specialized researchers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections. T. Walch Hoover Presidential Library