The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199754540

Linda Greenhouse
144 ページ
113 x 173 mm
Very Short Introductions
  • Shows the court at work by focusing on the people and traditions of the institution
  • Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Supreme Court reporter

For thirty years, Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction, chronicled the activities of the justices as the Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times. In this concise volume, she draws on her deep knowledge of the court's history as well as of its written and unwritten rules to show the reader how the Supreme Court really works. 

No mere work of civics, this is an institutional biography of a place and its people - men and women who exercise great power but whose names and faces are unrecognized by many Americans and whose work often appears cloaked in mystery.

How do cases get to the Supreme Court? How do the justices go about deciding them? What special role does the chief justice play? What do the law clerks do? How does the court relate to the other branches of government? Greenhouse answers these questions by depicting the justices as they confront deep constitutional issues or wrestle with the meaning of confusing federal statutes. 

The Supreme Court today, housed in a majestic building on Capitol Hill, with more than 400 employees, bears little resemblance to the ill-defined institution the Constitution's Framers launched with the expectation that it would be the weakest, "least dangerous," of the three branches. The court put to use the independence the Framers gave it, and in many ways has continued to define itself. This book is the court's story. 


Chapter One: Origins
Chapter Two: The Court at Work (1)
Chapter Three: The Justices
Chapter Four: The Chief Justice
Chapter Five: The Court at Work (2)
Chapter Six: The Court and the Other Branches
Chapter Seven: The Court and the Public
Chapter Eight: The Court and the World
Further Reading
Appendix 1: Article III, U.S. Constitution
Appendix 2: The Supreme Court's Rules (excerpts)
Appendix 3: Chart of the Justices


Linda Greenhouse, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School, U.S.
Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School; former Supreme Court correspondent, The New York Times (1978-2008);winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting