Review by Booklist Review
Eight hundred court cases are arranged under more than 50 legal issues in this new set. Each of the four volumes profiles cases that influenced key aspects of American law. These include U.S. Supreme Court decisions as well as 60 state or lower federal court cases. Emphasis is on the last three decades. However, such landmark cases as Marbury v. Madison (1803), Swift v. Tyson (1842), and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) are also included. Volume 1, Individual Liberties, profiles cases dealing with freedoms of assembly, religion, speech, and the press, as well as cases relating to the Internet, libel, obscenity, privacy, and the right to bear arms. Volume 2, Criminal Justice, deals with issues such as capital punishment, rights of the accused, and search and seizure. Volume 3, Equal Protection and Family Law, includes cases on affirmative action, sexual harassment, voting rights, and more. Volume 4, Business and Government, covers cases dealing with business and corporate law. Coverage of each legal issue begins with an overview of approximately 2,000 words. For each case, there is a fact box, (litigants, litigant's claim, chief lawyers, judges or justices who wrote the majority opinion or decisions, and so on); the legal citation; and a 750-to 2,000-word discussion. Following the discussion are references to related cases and a bibliography. Some cases include sidebars that bring to light specific aspects of the case or related facts and incidents. More than 300 photographs and graphics enhance the text. Each volume provides a list of the issues covered in the other three volumes as well as a glossary of legal terms, an alphabetical and chronological list of the court cases included in that particular volume, and a general index for the entire set. Additionally, volume IV contains a copy of the U.S. Constitution and a chronological list of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices through President Clinton's appointment of Stephen Breyer in 1994 A number of other titles on court cases have appeared recently, most dealing only with decisions of the Supreme Court. Like the Gale set, Salem's U.S. Court Cases (1999) is somewhat broader in scope, but it covers only 212 cases overall. Great American Court Cases is an extensive, attractive, well-organized resource, recommended for highschool, public, and academic libraries.
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