March 06, 2012 Articles

Noteworthy Supreme Court Books

These are not practice books; most were not written for lawyers.

By Dennis Owens

Here are some interesting books about the U.S. Supreme Court. These are not practice books. Most were not written for lawyers.

David G. Savage
Guide to the United States Supreme Court, Fifth Edition, Two Volumes
Congressional Quarterly Press

The author is the Supreme Court reporter for the Los Angeles Times. This set of books is large format, about 1,425 pages, and attractively bound. Mr. Savage is a highly competent writer. These books have a wide range indeed, including a lively history of the Court, an examination of the relationships of the Court with Congress and the executive branch, and astute coverage of such topics as rights, freedom, criminal procedure, equality, and privacy. Further, it has a discussion of the pressures on the Court and the media’s relationship with the Court. It addresses how the Court operates, who works there, and its building, and contains brief biographies of all the justices. There are 14 appendices including a list of all of the laws held unconstitutional by the Court and some famous quotes from Court opinions.

These books bring to mind Ed McMahon telling Johnny Carson that this thing “in my hand contains everything you would ever want to know about” some subject. And, in this case, it seems to do just that!

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