The Supreme Court
Controversies, Cases, and Characters from John Jay to John Roberts [4 volumes]
by Paul Finkelman, Editor
January 2014, 1385pp, 8 1/2x11
4 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-394-3
$419, £323, 365€, A574
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-395-0
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The role of the Court has evolved since 1789—and it continues to change.

An insightful, chronological—by chief justice—examination of the Supreme Court that enables students and readers to understand and appreciate the constitutional role the Court plays in American government and society.

American citizens need to understand the importance of the Supreme Court in determining how our government and society operates, regardless of whether or not they agree with the Court’s opinions. Unfortunately, the role and powers of the third branch of government are not well understood by the American public. After an introduction and overview to the history of the Supreme Court from 1789 to 2013, this book examines the Court’s decisions chronologically by Chief Justice, allowing readers to grasp how the role and powers of the Court have developed and shifted over time. The chapters depict the Court as the essential agent of review and an integrated part of the government, regardless of the majority/minority balance on the Court, and of which political party is in the White House or controlling the House or Senate.


  • Useful for high school students, undergraduate students, and general readers researching the Supreme Court in general, investigating specific issues, or seeking answers to personal interest questions
  • Provides an accessible resource for chronologically tracing the development of civil and human rights issues from the Warren Court to the present
  • Examines the legacy of each Chief Justice's Court by its significant cases or decisions as well as its influence on the historical era
  • Notes the dramatic or long-lasting effects of Court decisions and addresses the most controversial decisions of the 21st century, underscoring the significance of Supreme Court decisions on society overall
  • Argues that the Court has long had a political presence and influence rather than existing as simply a legal entity
Paul Finkelman, PhD, is President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow, Government Law Center at Albany Law School. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and author, coauthor, or editor of more than 25 books, including Praeger's Terrorism, Government, and Law: National Authority and Local Autonomy in the War on Terror. His other books include The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference; Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court; and A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States. Finkelman holds a doctorate in American history from the University of Chicago.
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