Because the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tell us what Constitution means, they can create constitutional change. For quite some time, general readers who have been interested in understanding those changes have not had a concise volume that explores major decisions in which those changes occur. Traditional casebooks used in law schools typically pay scant attention to the historical and political context in which cases are decided, as well as the motives of litigants, the involvement of interest groups, and the justices' concerns with policy outcomes, even though all these factors are critical to understanding the Court's decisions. Other books do address these concerns, but they almost always focus on a single policy issue, rather than on a broader range of constitutional conflicts that populate the Court's docket. In order to make a wide range of decisions more accessible, Gregg Ivers and Kevin T. McGuire commissioned twenty-two outstanding scholars to write essays on a selected series of Supreme Court cases. Chosen for their contemporary relevance, most of the cases addressed in this informative reader are from the last half-century, extending right up through Bush v. Gore.
Gregg Ivers, Professor of Government at American University, is the author of American Constitutional Law: Power and Politics and To Build a Wall: American Jews and the Separation of Church and State (Virginia). Kevin T. McGuire, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is the author of Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court and The Supreme Court Bar: Legal Elites in the Washington Community (Virginia).001