You are here

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court

Fifteenth Edition

January 2023 | 296 pages | CQ Press
In The Supreme Court, Lawrence Baum provides a brief yet comprehensive introduction to the U.S. Supreme Court, one that is balanced and illuminating. In successive chapters, the book examines each major aspect of the Court: the selection, backgrounds, and departures of justices; the creation of the Court's agenda; the decision-making process and the factors that shape the Court's decisions; the substance of the Court's policies; and the Court's impact on government and American society.

Describing the Court's personalities and procedures, and delving deeply to explain the actions of the Court and the behavior of justices, Baum shows students the Court's complexity and reach. Tables and figures, plus a lively photo program, make this one of the most engaging books available. It is simply the standard.

Chapter 1 • The Court
Chapter 2 • The Justices
Chapter 3 • The Cases
Chapter 4 • Decision Making
Chapter 5 • Policy Outputs
Chapter 6 • The Court’s Impact
Glossary of Legal Terms
Selected Bibliography
Sources on the Web
Case Index
Key features


  • Extensive attention to the growing impact of political polarization on the Court, including the appointments of Justice Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson, emphasize the stakes in the Court's composition and the importance of the Court's membership for its decisions. The outcomes of those battles created a Court with a strong conservative majority, and that majority has reached decisions changing public policy on major issues such as rules for voting and elections, regulation of firearms, and affirmative action.
  • Other significant changes of the book consider the growing importance of the Court's decisions on requests for stays and injunctions, the questions that have been raised by members of Congress and others about the ethical standards of the justices, and a new structure for oral argument of cases in the Court.
  • New tables and figures highlight important aspects of the Court, such as the frequent public appearances made by the current justices, the kinds of litigants that have cases in the Court, the Court's overruling of its prior decisions, and congressional proposal of constitutional decisions to override the Court's decisions.


  • Examines all major aspects of the Court, from the selection of justices and agenda creation to the decision-making process and the Court’s impact on government and U.S. society
  • Tables, figures, boxes, and photos illustrate and illuminate key points
  • Glossary of legal terms and case index provides useful reference tools for students.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch01_The Court

Ch02_The Justices

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site