Suggested Reading

Baum, Lawrence. The Supreme Court. 8th ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003.

Baum offers an in-depth exploration of how the Court functions and the role it plays in society.

Carp, Robert A. The Federal Courts. 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1998.

Carp’s book presents a comprehensive view of the federal court system as a whole.

Davis, Richard. Seeking Justice: The Press, Public Opinion, and Interest Groups in the Supreme Court Nominations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Supreme Court nominations are among the most public and controversial decisions a president can make, and they have a great impact on the law. Davis examines the role that the press and the public have in the nomination and confirmation process.

Davis, Sue. Justice Rehnquist and the Constitution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.

The chief justice does not control the Supreme Court, but he can strongly influence the direction of the Court. Davis studies the impact of William Rehnquist on the Court.

McGuire, Kevin T. Understanding the Supreme Court: Cases and Controversies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

The author explores important cases and the judicial philosophies that shape American law.

Mezey, Susan G. No Longer Disabled: The Federal Courts and the Politics of Social Security. New York: Greenwood, 1988.

What sort of role do the courts play in shaping policy? Mezey explores that question with regard to disability policy.

O’Brien, David M. Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics. 5th ed. New York: Norton, 2000.

Storm Center is a classic study of the way the court fits into the American political system.

O’Connor, Sandra Day. The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice. New York: Random House, 2003.

O’Connor, the Supreme Court’s first woman and a key swing vote on the court, recounts her experiences on the Court and her views of the law.

Sandler, Ross, and David Schoenbrod. Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003.

Sandler and Schoenbrod are among the critics who charge that the courts have too much power. Their book evaluates the role of the courts in making policy.

Useful Websites

A database of Supreme Court cases since the 1970s.

The website of the Federal Judicial Center, a federal agency that researches, monitors, and educates the public about U.S. courts.

This website provides encyclopedia-style tidbits about some of history’s most famous trials, including the LAPD–Rodney King trial and the Clinton impeachment trial.

This website has many links about the Supreme Court, including information on pending cases, as well as links to state courts systems and pending cases.

The website of the Supreme Court of the United States. The site includes the Court’s calendar of oral arguments, information for visitors, and links to information about the cases.

The homepage of the federal court system.

Popular pages: The Judiciary