Contemporary Supreme Court Cases
Landmark Decisions since Roe v. Wade, 2nd Edition
by Donald E. Lively and D. Scott Broyles
February 2016, 746pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3712-8
$218, £168, 190€, A299
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3713-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Controversies such as immigration, gun rights, campaign finance, and gay rights have been affected by Court decisions.

With its blend of accessible writing and actual excerpts from Court opinions, this book serves to explain the legal and cultural underpinnings of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the past 35 years—and to illuminate how these decisions have shaped the trajectory and character of modern American society.

As the nation’s law defines society, society defines the law. As the nation’s fundamental law, the U.S. Constitution is the overarching statement of the people’s will. Interpreting the Constitution, however, is no simple task. This book examines more than 100 landmark Supreme Court cases from 1973 to the present, providing readers with insights into decisions that have had a profound impact on American politics, commerce, culture, and life.

Organized categorically, this book serves readers either as a comprehensive review of modern constitutional law or as a ready reference source. It includes entries on Supreme Court decision-making regarding high-interest issues such as abortion (Roe v. Wade, 1973; Gonzales v. Carthart, 2007), climate change (Massachusetts v. EPA, 2007), voting rights (Bush v. Gore, 2000), free speech (Texas v. Johnson, 1989), the death penalty (Roper v. Simmons, 2005), immigration (Arizona v. United States, 2012), campaign financing (Citizens United v. FEC, 2010), gun control (District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008), the Affordable Care Act (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 2012), and gay marriage (United States v. Windsor, 2013).

The book not only interprets key Court decisions but also provides critical context and perspective that makes the subject matter easier to understand and more meaningful, especially for readers without an extensive background in Constitutional law. Bibliographies are provided at the end of each case to direct those seeking to delve more deeply into specific topics.


  • Provides comprehensive, objective, and accessible coverage of major Supreme Court decisions since the early 1970s
  • Presents easy-to-understand breakdowns of competing perspectives on contemporary constitutional issues that illuminate divisions within the Court
  • Places modern case law into historical perspective for readers of all levels of expertise
  • Enables readers to appreciate that interpreting the U.S. Constitution is not simple, contrary to some political rhetoric regarding the document
Donald E. Lively, JD, is president of Arizona Summit Law School. He conceptualized and was founding dean and chancellor at Florida Coastal School of Law. Previously, Lively served as president of Charlotte School of Law and senior vice president for academic affairs for the InfiLaw Consortium., and held the William H. Maier, Jr. Chair of Law at West Virginia University College of Law and was a professor at University of Toledo College of Law. He is author or coauthor of more than 50 law review articles and 15 books, mostly on constitutional law. Included in these publications are Greenwood's Landmark Supreme Court Cases: A Reference Guide and Contemporary Supreme Court Cases: Landmark Decisions since Roe v. Wade, predecessor publications in this series. Lively also has conceptualized and helped create legal services or law-related programs that served unmet needs in disadvantaged communities and underdeveloped countries.

D. Scott Broyles, JD, PhD, is associate professor of law at the Charlotte School of Law. He earned his juris doctor degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law and his doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Dallas Institute of Philosophic Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at the Charlotte School of Law, Broyles served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where he worked in the areas of organized crime, white-collar crime, and counterterrorism. In 2000, he received the John Marshall Award—the Department of Justice's highest honor—for his leadership in DOJ antiterrorism efforts.


"[T]he authors meet their goal of creating a work 'relevant [and] accessible to a wide variety of audiences' without overdoing the legalese."—Library Journal, July 1, 2016

"For any readers interested in the work of the Supreme Court and its impact on society and the law of the land, this work will provide much useful information. This work will benefit a wide range of libraries whose patrons seek an understanding of the Court’s role in America."—ARBA, August 31, 2016

"Summing Up: Recommended. High school, community college, and undergraduate students; general readers."—Choice, December 1, 2016
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