Oxford has published a second edition of this accessible and authoritative reference to Supreme Court cases, justices, legal issues, and terminology. With 86 new articles that include biographies of Clinton appointees Ginsberg and Breyer and commentaries on Boy Scouts v. Dale, Bush v. Gore, McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, and other important cases, Oxford has brought the companion into the twenty-first century. The extra 200 pages make the book a little difficult to pull from a high shelf, but librarians and readers will find it worth the effort. New essays on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Detainee cases, and Hate speech remind us of the continuing influence of the Supreme Court in U.S. politics and in the everyday lives of its citizens. Almost 100 articles have been revised and updated, including entries on current justices, Abortion, Impeachment, Religion, and the Second Amendment.
The features that made the first edition so convenient and easy for the layperson to use remain. Each case entry includes a U.S. Reports citation, date argued, date decided, and authors of majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions. Longer entries have brief bibliographies made up predominantly of citations to books and law review articles. See and see also references are abundant but not overwhelming.
There are several appendixes, including a useful chart of Supreme Court justices and their years of service, a chronology of the justices' succession, and a list of "Trivia and Traditions of the Court." The volume concludes with case-name and topical indexes.
The companion will likely find its way to most of the 2,800-plus libraries that have the first edition. Its value as a quick reference source on the Supreme Court has not diminished with the passage of time. It still belongs in every library, high school and up. Jan Lewis
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"This obviously impressive and highly needed collection of over 1000 entries on the Supreme Court is sure to become the standard in the field....This fine volume is a must-have collection for any serious student of the court. Highly recommended."--Library Journal