The Supreme Court

by
Helena Silversteinauthor

Helena Silverstein, PhD, is professor and department head of government and law at Lafayette College. From 2014 to 2016 she served as director of the law and social sciences program at the National Science Foundation.

The Supreme Court

20210331

Greenwood

Pages 208
Topics Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954);Civil Rights and Civil Liberties;Critiques and Defenses of Judicial Review;Equal Protection Clause;Marbury v. Madison (1803);Influences on Supreme Court Decision-Making;Originalism Versus Living Constitution

Cite this eBook

  • eBook

    9781440873010

Description
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

The Supreme Court

Author(s): Silverstein, Helena;
Contributors: Silverstein, Helena;
Abstract:

This accessible guide to the U.S. Supreme Court explains the Court's history and authority, its structure and processes, its most important and enduring legal decisions, and its place in the U.S. political system.

A 2018 Pew Research Center poll found that while 78 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents believed that the Supreme Court should base its decisions on the "modern" meaning of the Constitution, 67 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents asserted that Justices should rely on the Constitution's "original meaning."

The Court often is the final arbiter of polarizing battles that originate in other branches of government. At the same time, however, its structural insulation from Congress, the Presidency, and electoral politics make the Supreme Court—at least in theory—well positioned to rise above the rough-and-tumble of politics.

This book examines the power of the Supreme Court in America's system of democratic governance in several ways. These include: reviewing debates over whether justices should interpret the Constitution in line with its "original meaning" or in accordance with present-day understandings; exploring the processes and factors that shape how cases are chosen and decided; considering contentious battles over the selection of justices; and examining the impact of the Court on American culture and society.


  • Offers a primer on the U.S. Supreme Court, an intriguing, complicated, and often-controversial piece of the U.S. legal and political system
  • Identifies the sources of the Supreme Court's authority, the constraints to that authority, and ongoing debates about how the Court should exercise that authority
  • Highlights the uniqueness of the Supreme Court, an institution central to U.S. democracy but designed to be insulated from the public and a check against majority rule
  • Explores legal, political, and social factors that influence the Supreme Court and, in turn, how the Court shapes law, politics, and society
  • Covers key areas of Court decision-making, such as separation of powers between the President and Congress, civil rights (e.g., affirmative action and same-sex marriage), and civil liberties (e.g., freedom of speech and free exercise of religion)
  • Promotes literacy in the workings of democracy in the United States

SortTitle: supreme court
Keyword(s): Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954); Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; Critiques and Defenses of Judicial Review; Equal Protection Clause; Marbury v. Madison (1803); Influences on Supreme Court Decision-Making; Originalism Versus Living Constitution
Author Info:
Helena Silversteinauthor

Helena Silverstein, PhD, is professor and department head of government and law at Lafayette College. From 2014 to 2016 she served as director of the law and social sciences program at the National Science Foundation.

eISBN-13: 9781440873010
Cover Image URL: ~~FreeAttachments/9781440873010.jpg
Print ISBN-13: 9781440873003
Imprint: Greenwood
Pages: 208
Publication Date: 20210331
Series: Student Guides to American Government and Politics