From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

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Feb 22

SAGE Knowledge Resources on the Supreme Court

Posted on February 22, 2016 at 10:57 AM by Brian Herder

The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia ensures that the Supreme Court and its justices will be a topic of interest in the coming presidential election. To assist you, here are two reference resources available to you in SAGE Knowledge. You can find these resources and more on the main Online Resource page under Stats & Government, and on the Student Research page.


The Supreme Court Compendium, Data, Decisions, and Developments, 5th Ed. is the only reference that presents historical and statistical information on every important aspect of the U.S. Supreme Court, including its history; development as an institution; the justices’ backgrounds, nominations, confirmations, and voting trends; and the Court’s relationship with the public and other governmental and judicial bodies. This comprehensive reference includes an institutional overview of the Court’s history, including a chronology of important events from 1787-2006, important congressional legislation relating to the Supreme Court, and Internet sites relating to law and courts. The political and legal environment of the Court is presented, including the success rate of the United States as a party before the Supreme Court, the rates of success of various administrative agencies, and state participation in Court litigation with success rates.

Content begins with an institutional perspective, covers the review process and cases, and opinion trends. The chapters on the justices (background, nomination and confirmation, arguments and opinions) often include tables that can be downloaded. Here are some examples:

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Source: Table 4-1, Justices, appointing authority, and years of service downloaded into Excel.

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Source: Table 4-12, List of nominees

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Source: Table 5-1, Length of Service.


The concluding chapters consider the political and legal environments in which the Court operates; the public’s views of the Court; and the Court’s impact on certain policy questions.


Epstein, Lee, Jeffrey A. Segal and Harold J. Spaeth, eds. The Supreme Court Compendium: Data, Decisions, and Developments, 5th Ed. 5th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2012.SAGE Knowledge.



Another excellent resource, The Supreme Court A to Z, offers accessible information about the Supreme Court, including its history, traditions, organization, dynamics, and personalities. More than 350 alphabetized entries are extensively cross-referenced to related information:

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Coverage ranges from specific cases to legal terminology and from biographical profiles to the Court in the context of history. Entries are supplemented by photographs and charts:

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Jost, Kenneth, ed. The Supreme Court A to Z. 5th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2012. SAGE Knowledge.  CQ Press: American Government A to Z Series.