The United States Supreme Court

A political and legal analysis, Second edition

The United States Supreme Court is an important, exciting and controversial institution. This book includes the major decisions of the 2014 and 2015 Supreme Court Term. It examines some of the fascinating policy issues that are central to the Court by examining its contemporary agenda. The book analyses the Court's major decisions on controversial issues such as race, abortion, capital punishment and gay rights. It explains the ideas that underpinned the creation of the Supreme Court in the first place and how and why it has changed over the years. The book then investigates how the framers of the Constitution envisaged the nature and the role of the Supreme Court, and how and why these have evolved. With examples, it also explains the process by which the personal, the judicial and the political are interwoven in some of the Court's most important cases. Next, the book takes up the specifically judicial and legal basics of the Court's structure and processes and looks at the rules and procedures that govern the Justices' work. The key concept of judicial review, the source of the Court's power is then examined. The book moves on to analyse one of the most controversial features of the contemporary Supreme Court, the process of appointing new Justices, and examines the politicisation of the appointment process. Finally, it explores how powerful is the Court and what is its role in American government and politics.

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