Jethro K. Lieberman

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A Practical Companion to the Constitution: How the Supreme Court Has Ruled on Issues from Abortion to Zoning

University of California Press, 1999, 800pp. Paperback.

In more than 1,000 essays, alphabetically arranged, this book provides readers, lay and specialist alike, a comprehensive survey of the problems, issues, theories, and catch phrases that have occupied the Supreme Court since 1789. General principles and specific holdings are linked to a unique table of cases, digesting the votes, concurrences, and dissents of the justices in more than 2,500 constitutional cases. Also features a comprehensive index, a unique concordance to the Constitution, and a timeline of the justices.
        The first edition of this book, The Evolving Constitution (Random House, 1992), was selected by the American Library Association as one of the 28 "Outstanding Reference Books" for 1993. In that same year it was also selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 30 "Outstanding Reference Books of the Past Year." It was awarded a Gavel Certificate of Merit by the American Bar Association in 1993. This edition contains dozens of new entries.

To order supplements discussing later cases
        A comprehensive supplement of issues heard in the Supreme Court from 1999 through 2008, The Decennial Supplement, is available from Dialogue Press, which also publishes yearly cumulative supplements thereafter, the most recent of which is The Cumulative Supplement, second series, 2008-2016. For order forms, click the book jackets, or send me an email through the Contact tab above. Altogether, the main volume and the supplements reference more than 3,000 Supreme Court cases.

From the reviewers


"A really monumental achievement for a sole scholar . . . excellent subject entries, extremely useful time chart."
Walter M. Frank, in Making Sense of the Constitution, 2012

"Clear, useful, and accurate entries. . . . In short, there is a great deal here. . . . Lieberman's writing generally combines spice and clarity. . . . The overall impression is one of solidity and reliability."
Michael Herz, New York Law Journal

"Although a reference book in which every entry is written by one author raises the potential of subjectivity, Lieberman appears largely to have avoided this pitfall. . . . He is both fair and accurate, his conclusions measured, and when needed is critical of both sides."
Alexander Wohl, Legal Times

Selected Works

New
A retort to friends who thought it was time to thin out the bookshelves.
A critique of hypotheticals as a tool for judging the thought of others.
For students studying constitutional law: what it's about, how to learn it, in language easy to grasp.
Political Theory, Government
Resuscitates liberalism as a practical political doctrine.
Writing
On writing clear, readable, and persuasive prose. 3d edition published January 2016
An article on the sins of scholarly writing — and a video to boot.
Constitutional Law
The meaning of the Constitution, and how it has changed over time, on the eve of its bicentennial.
Law and Society
The first book to seek the underlying causes for, and consequences of, America’s growing urge to sue.
A searching look at the moral disarray of the post-Watergate lawyers' code of ethics.
Fiction
Terrorists take over the United Nations and commit a series of atrocities to free their imprisoned soldiers. An Israeli agent to the rescue. Sounds familiar, but this appeared in 1978, before some of the things imagined had ever played out.
Miscellany
Edited anthologies.
Articles in the popular press, pamphlets, and more.