Saturday, November 10, 2012

Madani, Hamed. Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch.

Madani, Hamed.    Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch.    Enslow      104p  $31.93  978-0-7660-4065-6     ms/hs   Series: Constitution and US Government (Enslow)   VG-BNS           

This book provides an overview of the Supreme Court of the United States.     Tying in to the topical interest in elections in a year when a presidential election is to take place, Madani initially focuses on the historic but controversial decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court over the 2000 presidential election.  This example establishes the impact that the courts can have on issues of great importance. 

The next section reviews the organization and responsibilities of the judiciary branch of the federal government.  Broken into short sections, this is dry material for a casual reader, but
it contains relevant information for student researchers.  Diagrams, illustrations, and color photographs are included where appropriate, in an effort to enliven the text.

Specific events and personalities that shaped the history and direction of the judiciary comprise the third chapter.  It begins with the first act of Congress, which established the federal judiciary, and ends with the current Supreme Court under the leadership of newly
-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts.  Other highlights include informative stories about John Marshall, the impeachment of Samuel Chase, the Dred Scott decision, Brown versus the Board of Education, and others.

The roles and duties of individuals associated with the judiciary are described in Chapter
Four.  This includes past and present chief justices, associate justices, and Supreme Court law clerks.

The next chapter explores what the judiciary does today.  While the
court interprets law, the judges may influence policy when they perform this function.  Madani discusses constitutional interpretation, especially as it touches on original intent.  Other topics include judicial review, imposing remedies, resolution of disputes, class-action suits, and rules of procedures.

America is a litigious society.  With high-profile legal cases headlined in the news on a daily basis, and more than
ten million civil disputes in the nation’s courts annually, readers will be prompted to learn more about the legal process.  Student researchers will find this volume a valuable source of solid, up-to-the-minute information enhanced by a short index, suggested books and web sites for additional information, and a handy glossary.          -- Hilary Welliver     

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