The Court’s contemporary agenda
in The United States Supreme Court
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The United States Supreme Court is an important, exciting and controversial institution. The Court's agenda inevitably tracks the nation's political agenda since political losers on major issues will often seek a constitutional ruling in their favour. This chapter examines the Supreme Court's contemporary agenda: after a brief overview of the Court's past agendas, it identifies the major questions of public policy coming before the Court today. The earlier agendas were set in the Founding era, the Slavery era, the era of economic regulation, the Civil Rights era, and in the liberal twentieth century period. The contemporary period of the Supreme Court is characterised above all by a conservative crusade to reverse almost one hundred years of liberal predominance. The chapter discusses major issues taken by the Court during this period such as abortion rights, health care and congressional powers, affirmation action and racial discrimination, and gay rights.

The United States Supreme Court

A political and legal analysis, Second edition


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