The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion

By John J. Patrick | Go to book overview

PREFACE
TO THE SECOND EDITION

The second edition of this Companion, like the first, is dedicated to the principle of liberty. In order for people who enjoy liberty to make choices intelligently, they require knowledge. Therefore, this second edition updates and strengthens the information about the Supreme Court presented in the first edition.

Articles on core concepts such as federalism and separation of powers have been expanded to include the latest relevant Supreme Court decisions. Simi- larly, articles on controversial topics such as abortion rights, affirmative action, and the relationship of govern- ment to religion have been updated. Further, this edition includes eight new full-case treatments of landmark Supreme Court decisions. Finally, there is an annotated guide to web sites on the federal judiciary and decisions of the Supreme Court.

Long ago, James Madison, one of the greatest American political thinkers, raised this question in an essay pub- lished in the National Gazette on December 20, 1792: "Who are the best keepers of the people's liberties?" His answer, of course, was "the people" in tandem with their institutions of con- stitutional government, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Without sufficient knowledge and the ability to use it, however, the people cannot and will not be "keepers of their liberties." So this work is designed to contribute to the people's knowledge so that they can be effective and responsible guardians of their rights to liberties.

As I worked to update this book, three young people were constantly in my thoughts: my granddaughters, Rachel Patrick and Abigail May, and my niece, Laurel Ellet. I trust that this work will contribute to the knowl- edge they need to be keepers of their own liberties.

On the west side
of the Supreme
Court Building,
the inscription
beneath the frieze
reads "Equal Jus-
tice Under Law."

-7-

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The Supreme Court of the United States: A Student Companion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Preface to the Second Edition 7
  • Preface to the First Edition 8
  • How to Use This Book 9
  • The Supreme Court of the United States - A Student Companion 11
  • Appendix 1 - Terms of the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court 379
  • Appendix 2 - Visiting the Supreme Court Building 383
  • Appendix 3 - Web Sites 384
  • Further Reading 386
  • Index 390
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