The Steps to the Supreme Court: A Guided Tour of the American Legal System

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9781118114995: The Steps to the Supreme Court: A Guided Tour of the American Legal System
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A guide to the American legal system, told through the story of two actual court cases The Steps to the Supreme Court takes a lively, narrative approach to the subject by following two real cases--one civil, one criminal--as they work their way through the system all the way up to the Supreme Court. Written by a member of the Supreme Court bar, this book brings the legal system to life in a practical, accessible, and compelling way. Covers the key legal terms, principles, and processes you need to have a basic grasp of the American legal system Tracks the criminal case involving the murder trial of Paul House and follows the defendant from the night of the murder through his conviction, appeals, and final chance for exoneration at the hands of the Supreme Court Follows a civil case concerning the Ten Commandments being displayed on public property, following the parties from the time the plaintiffs filed their complaints through the Supreme Court decisions and back to the aftermath in the lower courts as they wrestle with a divided complex ruling Written by the author of A People's History of the Supreme Court , and other classic works on the American justice system

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A lively and fascinating introduction to America′s legal system The best way to understand how the law works is to see it in action. The Steps to the Supreme Court follows two real cases one civil, one criminal as they work their way through the system from initial charges and complaints all the way up to the Supreme Court. Step by step, you′ll track the criminal case involving the murder trial of Paul House, following the defendant from the night of the murder through his conviction, death sentence, appeals, and final chance for exoneration. The controversial civil case concerns the Ten Commandments being displayed on public property. You′ll follow the parties from the plaintiffs′ first filing of their suits through the Supreme Court decisions and back to their aftermath in the lower courts, where judges struggle to make practical law from a complex and divided ruling. Along the way, you′ll witness: Trials and appeals in both state and federal courts Arguments from more than 30 attorneys on both sides of each case Decisions and dissents from more than 100 judges Dramatic turning points in the progress of each case Key differences in the handling of civil and criminal cases How the Supreme Court decides which cases to hear Written by a member of the Supreme Court bar, The Steps to the Supreme Court brings the strengths and weaknesses of the United States legal system to vibrant, accessible, and compelling life.

About the Author:

Peter Irons is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of California, San Diego. A graduate of Harvard Law School and noted Supreme Court authority, his numerous books, including A People′s History of the Supreme Court, have won five Silver Gavel awards from the American Bar Association for their contributions to public understanding of the American legal system.

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