The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book: The History and Issues Explained

Visible Ink. 2nd ed. ed. May 2023. 448p. pap. $29.95. ISBN 9781578597826.
Gr 9 Up–A fairly thorough history of the U.S. Supreme Court is provided in this volume by experienced law professor Hudson. Readers will learn the history of the court, information on some of the most well-known justices, and analyses of famous cases that have had far-reaching results. Cases are neatly divided by Constitutional amendments and then in chronological order. Race, abortion, and gun issues are presented in their own chapters, and the book concludes with Supreme Court trivia. Readers will also benefit from the currency of coverage, including the recent decisions of the Court, such as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Though mostly comprehensive and readable, the questions themselves depend on a prior knowledge of a particular case, justice, or the United States Constitution; for instance, “How did the Warren Court increase the power of the police in street-level encounters?” or “What two attorneys argued on behalf of the Amistad before the U.S. Supreme Court?” Also, a lack of a glossary will require the uninitiated to consult a dictionary for phrases like prima facie and habeas corpus. In his glowing review of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Hudson glaringly omits Holmes’s controversial stance in Buck v. Bell (with no reference to that decision). Otherwise sufficient and objective information is provided.
VERDICT Given the organized format, excellent table of contents, and index, this volume will be a suitable addition to high school library reference collections; report writers will glean much.

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