The Supreme Court (World Almanac Library of American Government)

The Supreme Court by Geoffrey M. Horn.  (World Almanac Library of American Government).  World Almanac Library, 2003.  48 pages.  Publisher recommends for grades 5-8. ISBN 978-0-8368-5459-6.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States.  It was created, along with the entire Judicial branch of the Federal government, by the Constitution.  This book thoroughly covers the Supreme Court, from its ceremony to its effect on our daily lives.

This book describes how the Court works on a day-to-day basis, and how Supreme Court Justices are nominated and confirmed.

The written opinions of the Court are important, as the book explains.  Both opinions in favor of the decision the Court has made as well as dissenting opinions have an effect on current and future legal decisions in this country.

There’s a section on the Chief Justices.  There’s also a section on those who have been famous dissenters against the majority decision on cases.

Many of the decisions of the Court affect our daily lives. The book notes the important case of Brown v The Board of Education in which segregation based on race was outlawed.   The book looks at many other cases, for instance Bush v Gore, in which the court made a decision which resulted in Bush becoming president rather than Gore in the year 2000.

All of this information fits into a 48 page book. It’s a dense book, but it’s also a fascinating book.

There are many photos, all captioned, plus many boxes of information separate from the main text. Both of these begin to seem like interruptions that detract from the main text. They all need to be read, though, because all of them supply valuable information.

In the back of the book there is a list of all the justices who have served on the Supreme Court from 1789 through 2002. There’s also a selected list of the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court. Next comes a timeline, followed by a glossary, resources for finding out more information, and finally a two-page index.

The amount of information packed into this book is truly remarkable. Mr. Horn’s writing makes the book very readable. I’m left with a desire to find other books in the same series.

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