Designed to help students understand the Constitution in all of its splendor and subtlety, this book introduces key events of the founding era, the Declaration of Independence, and the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution and its amendments are explored section by section, along with pertinent historical events, laws, and cases.Since the Third Edition was published in 2001, we have witnessed another presidential election, a second war with Iraq, significant Supreme Court cases on privacy, the death penalty, affirmative action, searches and seizures, and, perhaps most significantly, a series of developments related to America's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In addition, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her intention to resign. This new edition encompasses all of these developments.The Fourth Edition is the first to be thoroughly revised in its entirety, rather than merely updated. The language has been made even more accessible, rendering this an ideal starting point for students, as well as new citizens, who may be unfamiliar with constitutional law, American politics, or American history. Those already familiar with constitutional issues will be able to make use of the book as a reference guide to landmarks in constitutional history and development. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography of key books and cases useful for further study. The book includes a glossary; the texts of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution; and a section on how to locate cases and understand citations. Fifty leading cases are briefly described. Finally, the book includes two all-new sections, Highlights in Constitutional History and U.S. Supreme Court Justices.