This classic collection of carefully selected and edited Supreme Court case excerpts and comprehensive background essays explores constitutional law and the role of the Supreme Court in its development and interpretation. Well-grounded in both theory and politics, it displays the role of the U.S. Supreme Court as a legal AND political institution and as a major player in American government. It includes instructions for Reading a Supreme Court Decision. Using explanations and examples, walks readers through the task of briefing (making a detailed outline of) and understanding a case. Updates all essays and cases to reflect recent developments and decisions by the Supreme Court -- especially from the 1996-1997 Term -- during which the Court rearranged more constitutional furniture than usual. Expands the essay on Freedom of Expression to consider constitutional issues facing the electronic media (including the Internet). Features 9 new cases -- all decided by the Supreme Court since 1995 . Demonstrates the political significance of the cases that the Court decides by connecting them with what appears to be at stake when the President fills a vacancy on the Court. Features relevant extra-judicial material that highlight conflict among political and judicial actors over the proper role for the Supreme Court in American government.Mason, Alpheus T. is the author of 'American Constitutional Law' with ISBN 9780130335722 and ISBN 013033572X.