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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 4 January 2006
Kermit Hall, editor of the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, is also editor of this volume that looks specifically at the cases. This book does have an appendix with basic information such as lists of Justices, but for the most part, this book is really a compilation of short articles that deal with the major cases of the Supreme Court.
This guide contains hundreds of major cases that set important precedents for later courts, lower courts and society at large to follow. From early pivotal cases such as Marbury v. Madison, which set the precedent of judicial supremacy in Constitutional review, to the more recent cases such as Brown v. Board of Education (striking down 'separate but equal' arrangements), Miranda v. Arizona (setting up the popularly-known 'Miranda rights'), and Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, this book was published before the monumental Bush v. Gore decision (Hall discusses this in his other Oxford Companion) - hopefully it will be included in a later edition. Each decision includes a description of the key issues, the opinion of the court, those who concur, significant dissents and attendant issues that might arise.
This text also includes insights into the significant personalities of the Supreme Court, facts and trivia about the Supreme Court, and more. However, these are interesting incidentals, not detracting from the primary purpose of the text, which is to show the decisions themselves.
The text includes an index of cases as well as an index of topics. This is a very useful text for those who need a quick, ready reference to the cases, particularly student of law, criminal justice, or political science.
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