Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-585-9
# of Pages: 720
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $295
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-586-6
eBook User Price: $295
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Defining Documents in American History: Supreme Court Decisions (1803-2015)

Editor: Michael Shally-Jensen, PhD
November 2017


These court decisions provide a compelling view of many important aspects of American history that remain very much in the spotlight today, including the lasting effect of Jim Crow laws, desegregation and busing, voting rights and gerrymandering, and equal rights for all citizens.

This volume, Defining Documents in American History: Supreme Court Decisions (1803-2017), offers in-depth analysis of a broad range of the landmark cases argued before the U. S. Supreme that have explored the Constitution and its amendments in cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Miranda v. Arizona, and Obergfell v. Hodges. These cases have touched on the rights that underpin the nation’s laws: states' rights, civil rights, voting rights, and women’s rights, as well as right to privacy, the definition of marriage, the limits on the powers of the executive branch, segregation, affirmative action, and the rights of defendants. This text closely studies sixty court opinions and delivers a thorough examination of the intent and impact of the majority rulings, as well as the significant concurrences and dissents prepared by the Supreme Court justices from Marbury v. Madison in 1803 to Cooper v. Harris in 2017. The material is organized under three historical groupings:

  • The Founding Years to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
  • Maturation Pains: From Reconstruction to the Mid-Twentieth Century
  • Modern Dilemmas: From the Civil Rights Era to Today

These court decisions provide a compelling view of many important aspects of American history that remain very much in the spotlight today, including lasting effect of Jim Crow laws, desegregation and busing, voting rights and gerrymandering, and equal rights for all citizens. Designed for high school and college students, the aim of the series is to advance historical document studies as an important activity in learning about history.

Essay Format
Supreme Court Decisions contains 60 rulings from the Supreme Court throughout their history—some in their entirety. Each document is supported by a critical essay, written by historians and teachers, that includes a Summary Overview, Defining Moment, Author Biography, Document Analysis, and Essential Themes. Readers will appreciate the diversity of the issues addressed throughout these court decisions. An important feature of each essay is a close reading of the opinions, concurrences, and dissents that show the meticulous work involved in crafting an opinion meant to interpret the Constitution and discover the facts of the case behind rulings that affect all aspects of life in the United States. These court cases are organized into chronological order and were selected to highlight major issues of the period. A brief glossary included at the end of each document highlights keywords important in the study of the primary source. Each essay also includes a Bibliography and Additional Reading section for further research.

Appendixes

  • Areas of Law arranges all documents into specific areas of the law. Some decisions appear in more than one area.
  • Web Resources is an annotated list of websites that offer valuable supplemental resources.
  • Bibliography lists helpful articles and books for further study.

View a Full List of Titles from the Defining Documents Series