• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Acclaimed by researchers, students, and general readers, this informative, lively, and easy-to-use volume fills the public need for information about key recent and historical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now significantly updated, this new edition includes all the new major cases-over twenty five in total-handed down by the Court since the first edition was published in 2000. The new entries include many high-profile cases that have stirred public controversy, including: Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), granting the right to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions in the Boy Scouts; Bush v. Gore (2000), ceasing ballot recounts in the 2000 presidential election; PGA Tour v. Martin (2001), obliging the PGA to accommodate a disabled golfer; Lawrence v. Texas (2003), stating that a law criminalizing same-sex sodomy violates due process; Gratz/Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), stating that an affirmative action program to achieve diversity in universities may or may not violate the equal protection clause, depending on how it's implemented. In each of the over 100 cases summarized, author Tony Mauro succinctly describes the decision, provides background and facts of the case, the vote and highlights of the decision with verbatim excerpts, and, in conclusion, discusses the long-term impact of the decision on United States citizens and U.S. society. Topic search aids let readers easily trace the evolution and impact of rulings in particular issue areas. Added features also enhance the volume, including many new portraits, political cartoons, and drawings, a comprehensive bibliography and an easy-to-access case/subject index. A perfect starting point for research on Supreme Court decisions, this newly updated volume is an essential addition to every public, high school, and college library.

Capital Punishment
Capital punishment

Few issues have been more troubling for the Supreme Court—and for the nation—than capital punishment. Prisoners have been executed for their crimes since before the founding of the nation. But beginning in the last half of the twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first, capital punishment has been questioned in a variety of ways. Pointing to the high percentage of minorities and lower-income inmates on death rows nationwide, some question whether death penalties are imposed fairly. In recent years DNA testing has made it possible to demonstrate that some inmates awaiting execution are actually innocent. But it is the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against “cruel and unusual” punishment that keeps the debate going before the Court, as the justices measure capital punishment procedures ...

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