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Cover Image: Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 5th ed.
  • Date: 06/22/2010
  • Format: Print Cloth
  • Price: $490.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-423-5
  • Pages: 1544

  • Format: Online
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Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 5th ed.
David Savage

This brand new edition of Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court reflects the substantial changes in the makeup of the High Court and landmark rulings from recent Court terms. No other reference on the Court offers so much detail and insight in such a readable format. Updated through the 2008–2009 term, this classic resource explains everything readers need to know about the Supreme Court, from its origins and how it functions to the people who have shaped it and the impact of its decisions on American life and the path of U.S. constitutional law.


Updates include:

  • The appointments of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, as well as Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor—featuring biographies and background information
  • A new chapter on the emergence of Second Amendment protections for the Right to Bear Arms
  • New content on individual rights
  • New information and detail on how cases currently get to the Court, and how the process has changed over time
  • Expanded content on selecting justices and the confirmation politics of judicial appointments


Landmark decisions and key cases:

  • District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)—gun rights and the Second Amendment
  • Boumediene v. Bush (2008)—Guantánamo and habeas corpus
  • Roper v. Simmons (2005)—on death penalty and juveniles


Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court covers the Court’s entire history; its operations; its power in relation to other branches of government; major decisions affecting the other branches, the states, individual rights and liberties; and biographies of the justices.


Appendixes provide additional information on the Court such as the Judiciary Acts of 1789 and 1925 and a list of Acts of Congress found by the Court to be unconstitutional. A general name and subject index speeds research, and a case index quickly guides readers to all decisions discussed in the Guide.


Key Features

  • Covers three new Supreme Court justices and the confirmation process
  •  Demonstrates how cases get to the Court
  • New content on individual rights
  • New chapter on the Second Amendment
"Savage's understanding and experience with the Court have resulted in an insightful, authoritative source to rival all others. This guide is absolutely crucial for academic, public, and school libraries." - Choice

"The Guide will enhance any student’s or researcher’s study of the Supreme Court and is highly recommended for school, public, academic, law, and special libraries." - Booklist

"There are likely few reference librarians who are unfamiliar with this magnificent work, first published in 1979 and last revised in 2004. Indeed, calling itself a “Guide” seems exceedingly modest, a bit like describing Gibbon’s Decline and Fall as a guide to the late Roman empire...His writing is never less than very readable and sometimes is positively eloquent. Numerous illustrations and sidebars further enhance this resource. While the 4th edition of this work is still very serviceable, this updated edition is highly recommended for academic and public libraries." - ARBA
David Savage
David Savage is the Supreme Court Reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of Turning Right: The Making of the Rehnquist Supreme Court and The Supreme Court and the Powers of the American Government.
Sample Pages