• 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.

Separation of Powers
Separation of powers

The fear of an all-powerful king prompted the Framers of the Constitution to create a government with three branches, each with its own enumerated responsibilities. But the branches are not entirely separate: Each one interacts with the others to ensure that none gets too powerful. The result is a sometimes unwieldy and untidy form of governance that the public grumbles about but is unlikely to alter. “The doctrine of separation of powers was adopted,” the late Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power.” The job of refereeing disputes between the branches, and defining those enumerated powers, has fallen to the Supreme Court and resulted in some of its most important decisions.

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