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Supreme Court Central

Complete Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007-2008 Session


On October 1, 2007, the Supreme Court began its 2007-2008 session. Keep reading to find out more about the nine justices who make up the current Court, research last year's rulings, and hear the latest buzz on potential landmark civil liberties cases currently before the Court.

Key Civil Liberties Cases of the 2007-2008 Term

Gitmo Graffiti
Photo: © 2005 Peter Burgess.
While the Court's schedule for the coming year hasn't been finalized yet, we already know of some groundbreaking civil liberties cases that it will address over the coming months. Check this page for the latest on the Court's schedule for its 2007-2008 civil liberties cases.

Biographies of Current Supreme Court Justices

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court (2006-2007 Session)
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court.
Although often caricatured and reduced to party affiliation, each member of the U.S. Supreme Court is an extremely complicated human being who is "liberal" in some respects and "conservative" in others. This ten-page biographical slideshow reveals the educational backgrounds, personalities, and ideologies of the current justices.

Key Civil Liberties Cases of the 2006-2007 Term

Desegregation Ruling Protest - 16x9
Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images.
The past year has brought cases dealing with public school desegregation programs, "partial-birth" abortion, high-speed car chases, student free speech, insane death row inmates, and more. Read these quick illustrated profiles of the ten most important civil liberties cases of the term, and you'll know more about the subject than most cable news pundits.

What We've Learned About Roberts and Alito

Roberts and Alito Shaking Hands
Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images.
This year, the U.S. Supreme Court had new members for the first time since 1994. Read up on the two conservative justices appointed by President George W. Bush, and what their first term has told us about them--and what it hasn't.

The Bill of Rights: Text, Origins, and Meaning

16x9 Shot of the U.S. Bill of Rights
Photo: National Archives.
Although the Supreme Court's most foundational document is the Constitution taken as a whole, including both core text and all amendments, the ten amendments making up the Bill of Rights are central to most civil liberties cases. Understanding their meaning, and the history of their interpretation, is crucial to understanding the Court's reasoning.

A Short Timeline of American Civil Liberties

Lincoln Memorial
Photo: © 2006 Maurice Yeo.
When the Bill of Rights was first proposed in 1789, it didn't even apply to the federal government. It was only in 1803, when the U.S. Supreme Court established the power to strike down unconstitutional legislation, when it finally had binding authority. Even then, it didn't apply to the states until 1925. The concept of American civil liberties has evolved considerably since the days of Thomas Jefferson, and it will presumably evolve even further over time.
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