OverviewThe United States Supreme Court can be a perplexing institution. Yet as the third co-equal branch of national government, its contribution to American politics needs to be appreciated as much as those of Congress and the presidency. This lucidly-written text is aimed at students and teachers of American politics who have little or no previous knowledge of the Court.McKeever explains the legal and judicial frameworks within which the Supreme Court works and emphasises the political forces which surround and influence it. He examines the ways in which the presidency, Congress and interest groups bring pressure upon the judicial decision-making process and the extent to which the Justices are able to rise above the political fray. This includes a chapter devoted to the 'new' politics of Supreme Court appointments, and an analysis the Court's contemporary agenda, including issues such as abortion, affirmative action and gay rights. Finally, McKeever discusses the roles played by the Supreme Court in American politics and government and the extent to which these vary in rhythm with the broader political system.