The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book: The History and Issues Explained

by David L Hudson, Jr.
Handy Supreme Court 2e

This clearly written guide reviews Supreme Court history, illuminates its procedures, highlights its "rich tapestry of legal decisions," and offers straightforward commentary on how this comparatively secretive branch of American government serves to balance the power of Congress and the presidency. … This guide will make the Supreme Court and its workings accessible to secondary-school students and adults. In today's contentious political climate, it will help facilitate argumentation grounded in fact rather than emotion and is confidently recommended … clever guide will make the workings of the Supreme Court accessible …


This easy-to-understand book is filled with Q&A information on how the SCOTUS works, why it’s important, and some insight to the nine people who sit on what may be the most controversial court ever.

-Indianapolis Recorder

… an introduction to the U.S. Supreme Court … The book covers the history, structure, and procedures of the U.S. Supreme Court, its major cases, and the confirmation process … Cases are divided into chapters by issues such as freedom of speech or religion, criminal justice, racial discrimination, gerrymandering, abortion, and gun rights. … The U.S. Supreme Court is increasingly in the news, but its workings and history are opaque. This recommended book can help clear things up.

-Library Journal

… thorough history of the U.S. Supreme Court … by experienced law professor Hudson. Readers will learn the history of the court, information on some of the most well-known justices, and analyses of famous cases that have had far-reaching results. … organized format, excellent table of contents, and index …

-School Library Journal

A tip of the hat goes to David L. Hudson Jr., author of the aptly named Handy Supreme Court Answer Book. Hudson, an ABA Journal freelancer and scholar at Vanderbilt University's First Amendment Center, produced an accessible history in Q&A format, replete with trivia: Which justice was in a duel? Who was the first law school grad?

ABA Journal (on the previous edition)

For students, teachers, lawyers, and history buffs, this reference provides answer to many questions about the Supreme Court from its origins in 1789 to the present.

Book News (on the previous edition)

David Hudson's "The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book" is a guide to all aspects of the court. ... Hudson provides a thorough review of the argument, decision, and appeal process. ... a handy guide for keeping up with events.

Costa Mesa Daily Pilot (on the previous edition)

For a lay audience of inquisitive people, David Hudson Jr.'s Handy Supreme Court Answer Book is remarkably comprehensive and fascinating. Where else could you find out the identity of the tallest justice on the high court?

Legal Times (on the previous edition)

This is a unique and useful book that provides readers with a broad understanding of the main judgments of all of the Supreme Courts, as well as including smaller details that made each court unique. This is a terrific title....

Library Media Connection (on the previous edition)
High Court History and Issues Explained!

How has the U.S. Supreme Court justices’ thinking on gun rights, abortion, free speech, freedom of religion, and many other controversial issues evolved? What were some of the Court’s most important and monumental decisions … and failures? Which justices have—and still have—the most influence on the Court? Has the nominating process always been so political and bitter?

Legal expert David L. Hudson Jr., J.D., takes a fascinating and insightful journey through the creation, history, and rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book: The History and Issues Explained. He analyses controversial issues and various points of view and sheds a light on the differing and changing interpretations of the critical issues before the Court, as well as the Court’s history, its confirmation process, some of the its most important justices, and fun trivia, including …

  • Which justices were not born in the United States?
  • What movie starring Jack Nicholson became the subject of an obscenity prosecution?
  • Have any Supreme Court justices been impeached?
  • Which Supreme Court justice in the 20th century did not have a law degree?
  • What are some suggestions for reforming the confirmation process?
  • What was the historical irony of the Warren Court being called the great liberal court?
  • Why did Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent in the Lily Ledbetter case?
  • Did the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools?
  • How did the Supreme Court emphasize privacy protection for cell phone searches?
  • How has the Supreme Court dealt with the death penalty for juveniles?
  • Why was the decision in Roe v. Wade not the leading story in many newspapers on the date of its decision?
  • Why, according to Justice Samuel Alito, was Roe such a bad decision?
  • Why is interpreting the Second Amendment such a challenge?
  • Who was the only Supreme Court justice to have signed the Declaration of Independence?
  • Which Justice wrote a book about the United States as a Christian nation?
  • In what decision did the Court rule that a Florida city intentionally targeted unpopular religious beliefs?
  • What Supreme Court justice was formerly a member of the Ku Klux Klan?
  • What is the nickname of the Supreme Court Building?

    From the origins of the court to major decisions, The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book is a helpful primer on the United State’s highest court, its history, traditions, and development, and it sheds a light on the differing and changing interpretations of the critical issues before the court, as well as the confirmation process and some of the court’s most important justices. Richly illustrated, it has a helpful bibliography and extensive index. Thoroughly updated since it was last published fifteen years ago, this invaluable resource will help everyone understand the rulings and importance of the U.S. Supreme Court!

  • About David L Hudson, Jr.

    David L Hudson, Jr. David L. Hudson, Jr., J.D. is an Assistant Professor of Law, teaching First Amendment Law and Bar Exam Workshop at Belmont University’s College of Law. For 17 years, he was an attorney and scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Hudson also has taught classes at Vanderbilt Law School and the Nashville School of Law, and he served as a senior law clerk for the Tennessee Supreme Court. In June 2018, the Nashville School of Law awarded him its Distinguished Faculty Award. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He is an author, co-author, or co-editor of more than 40 books, including Visible Ink Press’s The Handy Law Answer Book, The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book, and The Handy American History Answer Book, as well as Let the Students Speak: A History of the Fight for Free Expression in American Schools and The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment (co-editor). He writes regularly for the American Bar Association’s Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases and ABA Journal, and the First Amendment Watch, and the Free Speech Center. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

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