Landmark Supreme Court Cases: A Reference Guide

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: A Reference Guide

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: A Reference Guide

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: A Reference Guide

Synopsis

This needed resource, written specifically for students and general readers, provides accessible discussions of 74 landmark Supreme Court cases that will help students understand the cases and their importance in American history. Cases selected for this work are those in which the Supreme Court's decisions have had a profound impact on society and the future and a meaning that transcends the impact on the immediate parties. In his own words, Donald Lively, Dean of Florida Coastal School of Law, discusses the facts, background, and significance of each landmark case so that students will be able to easily understand it. Each case features a fact box for quick reference succinctly identifying the issue, year of decision, outcome, vote, and author of the opinion. The narrative discussion of each case puts it in historical perspective, examines the background and constitutional issue involved, the case itself, why it is a landmark case, and its significance and impact. A short bibliography directs readers to a,more in-depth discussion of the case and issue.

Excerpt

The purpose of this work is to provide readable discussions of important Supreme Court cases so that they can be easily understood by students and lay readers. the selection of cases was made with this readership in mind. a book on landmark cases in constitutional law has a rich and extensive list of candidates from which to select. Because review by the United States Supreme Court is discretionary, and justices select only a minute number of the cases annually presented for the Court’s consideration, mere achievement of a hearing before the nation’s highest tribunal is a veritable landmark. Technically, and in the sense used to identify cases for this work, landmark decisions are those that represent more than just the resolution of a major issue or a dispute that had a high profile in its time. To qualify as a potential landmark decision, a ruling must not only resolve a controversy but have a meaning that transcends the impact upon the immediate parties. Actual landmark status is reserved, however, for those decisions that have defined for society the moment and the future in a profound fashion.

Constitutional rulings by their nature determine the scope of governmental power or the breadth of fundamental rights and liberties. Resolution of conflicts between individual freedom and official authority define their respective meanings. Landmark rulings, therefore, consist of those decisions that both mark how governmental power is exercised and point the way toward economic, social, or political change. Because many of the nation’s most intense controversies arise when government power collides with basic expectations of liberty and equality, it is not surprising that many of the most significant landmark decisions have emerged in these contexts.

This work is divided into four parts. the first part focuses upon rulings

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