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The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #306)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
For 30 years, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse chronicled the activities of the U.S. Supreme Court and its justices as a correspondent for the New York Times. In this Very Short Introduction, she draws on her deep knowledge of the court's history and of its written and unwritten rules to show readers how the Supreme Court really works.
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Paperback, 126 pages
Published March 12th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Aug 04, 2012 Sue rated it it was amazing
So far. . .Terrific. I am so impressed with Ms. Greenhouse's writing. She has such a skill of explaining the "Court" in its wisdom, or not! It is too bad that she is not on PBS anymore. But I did her speak on Book TV and everyone seemed to thoroughly appreciated her skill and understanding of the Court and Article III of our Constitution.
I have finished reading and I remain most appreciative of Ms. Greenhouse's writing. This is a good primer for the uninformed or those who have forgotten their
Oct 19, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
I got exactly what I was looking for from this book. A short history and explanation of the judicial branch of our government. Greenhouse's style is very understandable and she does a great job explaining something that could otherwise be seen as a very complex system.
Bojan Tunguz
Sep 05, 2012 Bojan Tunguz rated it it was amazing
The US Supreme Court is one of America’s most revered institutions. It is the pinnacle of the third branch of the US government, and over the history of the Republic has had an increasing importance in its public and political life. In fact, some of its decisions have had more profound effects on the life and culture than almost any policy enacted by the rest of the federal government.

This very short introduction gives a very comprehensive and interesting overview of the US Supreme Court – its
Marcus Vinicius
Mar 06, 2015 Marcus Vinicius rated it it was amazing
The judicial branch of government in the United States had a remarkable development. Linda Greenhouse introduces the reader to the Supreme Court, its formation, development and the role it performs in the public square. The Supreme Court's decisions shaped importants aspects of american life and gave to the Judiciary a crucial position, one of protagonism in the social arena. The book made insightful remarks about the composition of the Court, the way its members are choosed and the rules that ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
I have read several books in the "Very Short Introduction" series, and this is far and away the best. Linda Greenhouse is one of the preeminent voices on the Supreme Court, and it shows clearly. The book is exactly what it claims to be, a short, but serious introduction to the US Supreme Court. Greenhouse combines a deep knowledge of the history of the court, with a complex understanding of the court's role in US government and culture.
Aug 07, 2016 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great summary of our Supreme Court its procedures, personalities, key cases and structure within the federal judiciary system. It is written by Linda Greenhouse who has spent her professional life reporting on our federal courts, particularly the US Supreme Court. The book also highlights key cases and types of cases heard by the US Supreme Court. A must read for citizens who want to understand the working of our federal judiciary system. Hopefully every citizen.
Feb 16, 2016 William rated it it was amazing
A very succinct and coherent introduction to the Supreme Court of the United States. There was a description of the history and transformation of the court, as well as an analysis of how it interacts with the other two branches of government in modern times.
Bill Dauster
Mar 07, 2016 Bill Dauster rated it it was amazing
Linda Greenhouse is simply the generation's best writer on the Supreme Court. It is a treat to read her views of the institution, and her choices of reforms for the Court. Her Very Short Introduction is a fine way to meet the Court, or to renew the acquaintance.
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The Congress one was better.
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“In fact, only six days later, with Chief Justice Marshall not participating, the Court avoided a possible constitutional confrontation. Voting 5–0 in Stuart v. Laird (1803), the justices upheld Congress’s repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801, a move some historians see as reflecting the Court’s unwillingness to test the full dimensions of the power it had just claimed for itself. More than half a century would pass before the Supreme Court again declared an act of Congress unconstitutional. That was the Dred Scott decision of 1857 (Scott v. Sandford), invalidating the Missouri Compromise and holding that Congress lacked authority to abolish slavery in the territories. That notorious decision, a step on the road to the Civil War, was perhaps not the best advertisement for judicial review. But since then, the Court has lost its early reticence. It has declared acts of Congress unconstitutional more than 150 times.” 0 likes
“The political scientist Robert A. Dahl observed more than a half century ago that the Supreme Court “is an essential part of the political leadership,” part of the “dominant political alliance.” 0 likes
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