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The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions: 20 Cases that Changed America

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“The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.” —Obergefell v. Hodges   In the United States of America, the legislative branch is responsible for creating legislation, while the executive branch is responsible for signing that legislation and enforcing it. But how do senators, representatives, and presidents make sure that these laws don’t run afoul of the Co “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.” —Obergefell v. Hodges   In the United States of America, the legislative branch is responsible for creating legislation, while the executive branch is responsible for signing that legislation and enforcing it. But how do senators, representatives, and presidents make sure that these laws don’t run afoul of the Constitution that guides the running of the country?   The nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States serve as the final arbiters of which laws are and aren’t constitutional. Every year, thousands of contentious cases are submitted to the court for that reason; only about eighty of them are heard. Out of those cases, many are remembered only by the people directly involved. But over the years, many cases heard by the Supreme Court have gone on to affect the lives of many or even all American citizens.   In The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions, veteran court reporter Tony Mauro picks out the twenty most momentous Supreme Court cases in United States history. In his reviews of Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 case that first affirmed the Supreme Court’s status as the country’s final legal arbiter, to Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage, Mauro summarizes each case and includes cogent summaries of the justices’ decisions, as well as notable dissents.    With Mauro’s crisp language and sharp insights, The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions serves as your quick, concise, and informative guide to one of the most important, and sometimes least-understood, institutions in the nation.


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“The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.” —Obergefell v. Hodges   In the United States of America, the legislative branch is responsible for creating legislation, while the executive branch is responsible for signing that legislation and enforcing it. But how do senators, representatives, and presidents make sure that these laws don’t run afoul of the Co “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach.” —Obergefell v. Hodges   In the United States of America, the legislative branch is responsible for creating legislation, while the executive branch is responsible for signing that legislation and enforcing it. But how do senators, representatives, and presidents make sure that these laws don’t run afoul of the Constitution that guides the running of the country?   The nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States serve as the final arbiters of which laws are and aren’t constitutional. Every year, thousands of contentious cases are submitted to the court for that reason; only about eighty of them are heard. Out of those cases, many are remembered only by the people directly involved. But over the years, many cases heard by the Supreme Court have gone on to affect the lives of many or even all American citizens.   In The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions, veteran court reporter Tony Mauro picks out the twenty most momentous Supreme Court cases in United States history. In his reviews of Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 case that first affirmed the Supreme Court’s status as the country’s final legal arbiter, to Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage, Mauro summarizes each case and includes cogent summaries of the justices’ decisions, as well as notable dissents.    With Mauro’s crisp language and sharp insights, The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions serves as your quick, concise, and informative guide to one of the most important, and sometimes least-understood, institutions in the nation.

30 review for The Supreme Court: Landmark Decisions: 20 Cases that Changed America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

    This book is a short summary for a lay audience of important cases spanning the life of the court and country. It's a well chosen list spanning multiple decades relatively evenly, giving a good sample of the changing personality of the court and of course highlighting the most recognizable social questions before Americans over the last 200 years. It is not an in-depth exploration of any one of these twenty cases, or of the momentous questions behind each; I'd say it's more of a jumping off poin This book is a short summary for a lay audience of important cases spanning the life of the court and country. It's a well chosen list spanning multiple decades relatively evenly, giving a good sample of the changing personality of the court and of course highlighting the most recognizable social questions before Americans over the last 200 years. It is not an in-depth exploration of any one of these twenty cases, or of the momentous questions behind each; I'd say it's more of a jumping off point for such exploration. Overall my respect for the institution of the Supreme Court grew and deepened with this book, even though my worry about the imperfections and failures of the individuals and even of the varying benches collectively was confirmed. The book helped me develop my own understanding and values around the Court, around some of the highlighted cases, and even around the underlying issues to some extent. Given its brevity, the book does a great job in all three of these aspects.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Short concise summaries for each case accompanied by quotes opinions from the judges. Really enjoyed the quoted opinions as they provided direct insight to the decisions. Sure that information could be looked up online, but it’s arranged conveniently and has context in this format. Thought the case summaries were overly simplified although there isn’t much room for detail without taking away from the “pocket guide” feel this book has.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    The Supreme Court has for a while been considered the most trusted branch of US government, and in the current, shudder inducing, political situation, this is still true. I definitely enjoyed this overview of important decisions by the Court, and appreciated how well constructed the book was. It's a pretty small book and sticks to the facts and abridged versions of the justice's statements, but it whetted my appetite for more books that will go into further detail.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    This book delivers exactly what the book jacket promises--a summary of 20 of the most momentous cases in Supreme Court history, including “cogent summaries of the justices’ decisions, as well as notable dissents.” “With Mauro’s crisp language and sharp insights…[this book] serves as a quick, concise, and informative guide to one of the most important, and sometimes least-understood institutions in the nation.” It does indeed. If I have any quibble whatsoever with this book, it’s the fact that I’ This book delivers exactly what the book jacket promises--a summary of 20 of the most momentous cases in Supreme Court history, including “cogent summaries of the justices’ decisions, as well as notable dissents.” “With Mauro’s crisp language and sharp insights…[this book] serves as a quick, concise, and informative guide to one of the most important, and sometimes least-understood institutions in the nation.” It does indeed. If I have any quibble whatsoever with this book, it’s the fact that I’m curious about Mauro’s thought process behind the excerpts of majority opinions and, as applicable, of dissenting and concurring opinions. While it’s clear that opinions are not reproduced in their entirety and that it would be impractical to do so, this treatment still raises the question of why some Justices’ dissents and other portions of opinions are highlighted rather than others. As such, editorial decisions about what to include or exclude are offered without comment. While digging more deeply into Mauro’s decision-making process would undoubtedly expand the scope of this book beyond its stated intention, rendering it no longer a quick and concise guide, I hope the consequence of this concise treatment is that it inspires readers to dig deeper for themselves.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I am no lawyer, but work in a field of religious liberty in which requires me to read decisions to understand outcomes and parameters that apply to the cases I work with. This little book is a great, easy to read, tome that explains well the issues of 20 major cases which did "change America." Along with excellent overviews of the cases, snippets of the Justices decisions are given at the end of the summary that are helpful in understanding the various legal analysis given the same set of facts I am no lawyer, but work in a field of religious liberty in which requires me to read decisions to understand outcomes and parameters that apply to the cases I work with. This little book is a great, easy to read, tome that explains well the issues of 20 major cases which did "change America." Along with excellent overviews of the cases, snippets of the Justices decisions are given at the end of the summary that are helpful in understanding the various legal analysis given the same set of facts by the variegated minds of each Justice. Short read. Informative. Enlightening into a little of how cases get decided and why.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gary Schantz

    I have always been fascinated by the Supreme Court (America's Royalty). I enjoyed reading about the facts of the 20 cases and the eventual outcome. However, the bloviated opinions of some the judges show why certain causes took so long to be dealt with fairly...such as discrimination. Also the book exposes why judges should have a 25 year term limit as they purposely hold on to the job so they can make their mark on history whether it's clear or not. Specifically Rehnquist's decision while he was I have always been fascinated by the Supreme Court (America's Royalty). I enjoyed reading about the facts of the 20 cases and the eventual outcome. However, the bloviated opinions of some the judges show why certain causes took so long to be dealt with fairly...such as discrimination. Also the book exposes why judges should have a 25 year term limit as they purposely hold on to the job so they can make their mark on history whether it's clear or not. Specifically Rehnquist's decision while he was clearly on his final legs to personally appoint George Bush president.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hope Mueller

    Important series of decisions provided. A glimpse into the power the court has shaping the trajectory of the nation. Clear demarcation between decision authors, some are specific, based in legal precedent, and others seemed to espouse opinion. In light of our current political environment and the recent additions to the court, the concern of the United States stability and citizenry is at an all time high and grows with the reading of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dane Arbuckle

    Good read. Pretty short. Makes for a good late night reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sean Coombs

    One to keep handy for rereading periodically and referencing. Very accessible to all levels of legal background, including no experience.

  10. 4 out of 5

    William Fath

    Could have used more analysis or historical contex when describing the cases rather than just a brief synopsis as well majority/dissenting opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Talada

    Man, this is a sad book. I hear there are more sad volumes coming.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brady Postma

    This slim volume whetted my appetite for Supreme Court history without filling me up. A nice appetizer.

  15. 5 out of 5

    JRP

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Hoff

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Moadel-Attie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Evan Spadoni

  19. 4 out of 5

    Colin Milon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brenda So

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abhilash Dhongdi

  22. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne Thornton

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Slowikowski

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Zeigler

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elise

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Hammond

  30. 5 out of 5

    Celeste Hinson

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