Cover image for The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017 Edited by John J. Hare

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017

Edited by John J. Hare

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$74.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08011-6

456 pages
7" × 10"
25 b&w illustrations
2018

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017

Edited by John J. Hare

“This book successfully achieves what most of its kind cannot—it both educates and inspires. John Hare and his remarkable team of contributors address diverse historical and contemporary topics in a way that generations of lawyers and historians will both enjoy and treasure. This terrific book preserves, unlike any other, the incredible legacy of our Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”

 

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Established in 1684, over a century before the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court is the oldest appellate court in North America. This balanced, comprehensive history of the Court examines over three centuries of legal proceedings and cases before the body, the controversies and conflicts with which it dealt, and the impact of its decisions and of the case law its justices created

Introduced by constitutional scholar Ken Gormley, this volume describes the Supreme Court’s structure and powers and focuses at length on the Court’s work in deciding notable cases of constitutional law, civil rights, torts, criminal law, labor law, and administrative law. Through three sections, “The Structure and Powers of the Supreme Court,” “Decisional Law of the Supreme Court,” and “Reporting Supreme Court Decisions,” the contributors address the many ways in which the Court and its justices have shaped life and law in Pennsylvania and beyond. They consider how it has adjudicated new and complex issues arising from some of the most notable events and tragedies in American history, including the struggle for religious liberty in colonial Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary War, slavery, the Johnstown Flood, the Homestead Steel Strike and other labor conflicts, both World Wars, and, more recently, the dramatic rise of criminal procedural rights and the expansion of tort law.

Featuring an afterword by Chief Justice Saylor and essays by leading jurists, deans, law and history professors, and practicing attorneys, this fair-minded assessment of the Court is destined to become a criterion volume for lawmakers, scholars, and anyone interested in legal history in the Keystone State and the United States.

“This book successfully achieves what most of its kind cannot—it both educates and inspires. John Hare and his remarkable team of contributors address diverse historical and contemporary topics in a way that generations of lawyers and historians will both enjoy and treasure. This terrific book preserves, unlike any other, the incredible legacy of our Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”
“A fascinating and important collection tracing the many ways in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has shaped the history of the Commonwealth and the nation since its inception in 1684. Taken as a whole, this volume instantly assumes its place as the most comprehensive and wide-ranging historical treatment of the procedural and jurisprudential development of the Court available, and it provides researchers and scholars with views of the Court’s 333-year history that are both celebratory and critically analytical.”

John J. Hare is an attorney and the coauthor of Keystone of Justice: The Pennsylvania Superior Court, 1895–1995.