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The Supremes' Greatest Hits: The 34 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Can the government seize your house in order to build a shopping mall? Can it determine what you can do to your own body? Why are you allowed to copy songs on a CD, but not music files from the Internet? The answers to those questions come from the Supreme Court—and its rulings have shaped American life and justice. Here are 34 of the most significant issues it has grapple ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Sterling (first published October 28th 2006)
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Brian
I'm a bit of a closet law junkie. I read the Decision of the Day blog, I follow the Supreme Court pretty regularly. This little book is a pretty good primer on the basics of Constitutional law, and it provides a good background on how seemingly innocuous rulings end up having broader implications. I also liked (but maybe question whether they deserve placement in the "most important" cases, since their historical relevance has yet to be determined) that the author included some very recent rulin ...more
Gordon
This is a very quick overview of the 34 most significant Supreme Court cases since Madison v. Marbury, in 1803. That was the case that clearly defined for the first time the role of the Supreme Court in being the supreme interpreter of the law and in particular the compliance of those laws (and actions and regulations of the Executive authorized under those laws) with the US Constitution. It was the first time that the court declared a law to be unconstitutional.

The Supremes' Greatest Hits is a
...more
Tiffany Soohoo
A lot of people only know the basics of American government. They know there are three branches, executives, legislative and judicial. They know that the executive branch involves the President, enforces the laws. On the other hand they know that the legislative branch has the Senate and House of Representatives, whom make the laws. The judicial branch, however, is know the least, besides that the courts interpret the laws (whether they are constitutional or not). The book Supremes’ Greatest Hi ...more
Kelly O
Kelly O’Loughlin 4B

Michael G. Trachtman’s nonfiction book, The Supreme’s Greatest Hits: The 37 Supreme Court Cases That Most Directly Affect Your Life, is a compilation of the most crucial court cases whose results we encounter in our everyday American lives. Trachtman divides the cases up into chapters based on their general topic, with each chapter including a few or several cases. He begins with describing all of the aspects of the Supreme Court and explaining its importance, tasks, and orig
...more
Erez Davidi
Since I have no legal background and very little understanding of law history, therefore, I'm not in a position to review the author's interruptions of the cases presented in the book. Having said that, the book was a very interesting read and packed with interesting insights regarding the structure of the Supreme Court and the landmark cases which the Supreme Court dealt with over the years.

This book lacks depth. The author devotes, on average, 5 pages to each case. This is taken to mean that t
...more
Jeff
I thought this book was fantastic. (I am a casual follower of the court at best)

Each case summary included:
- how the case came about in the first place
- why it was important at the time
- it's implications for for the future of the country

Best was the way the book was written. I was hooked from start to finish. Most every case discussed HAS or WILL have had an effect on me.

I was also happy to discover that while the liberal/conservative nature of the judges was addressed, there was no apparent b
...more
Jill
Aug 23, 2007 Jill marked it as to-read
I have this incredible customer at the store who sends us letters bi-weekly with a list of books she requests us to order. she will only take pristine covers, only hardcovers, and insists we order them in so they are fresh. in short--i LOVE this woman. then she comes in and drops a grand once every couple months on the ones we've set aside.

this book was in yesterday's letter. i love the title--and why shouldn't i learn about court cases that have directly affected my life?
Rekha
This book was a rollercoaster of emotions. Really, I'm not kidding. Depending on the case, precedent, or effect I was reading, I went from "Woo-hoo democracy!" to "Stupid ass decision on that one, people" to "feeling rage, I am totally feeling rage" to "I am scared out of my knickers to be living in this country." Trust me, as you read through these landmark cases, from minute to minute you will be all "woot!" or "boo!" all the way through.
Shala Howell
Deeply thrilling for the tech writer in me. Clear writing, well-organized content with just enough tidbits about the case and the justices who heard it to appeal to the gossip in my nature, while clearly articulating why the case matters in American (and surprisingly often, world) history. Quick read too, which never hurts when you're trying to learn something between diaper changes.
Lucy
This was a decent overview of landmark cases, but I'm sure there are better books of this type out there. Even though this book was meant to be accessible, it took me about 3 months to slog my way through it as I found it difficult to read more than one case at a time.
Cassie
Oct 12, 2007 Cassie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who cares about freedom
I had the WORST history teachers in high school so I NEEDED to read this book. It keeps it real and tells you the importance of the Supreme Court and the power and decisions they make.
Spencer
An excellent short summary of important court cases. Increases your generalized knowledge in just an hour or two. Definitely a must read.
Cindy
The title says it all; 34 court cases that most directly affect our lives. Excellent discussion of why the Supreme Court matters.
Cheng
quick and simple read, but informative. it's like a refresher course of government 101.
Noahmay
Great look at some very interesting and very pertinent cases
Sandra
Jan 08, 2009 Sandra added it
Excellent review of important SC cases. And interesting!
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Kelly is reading this book.
Deirdre Cook
Good to have around
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