May It Please the Court

The Most Significant Oral Arguments Made Before the Supreme Court Since 1955

The bestselling book-and-audio set of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments, with an MP3 CD

“A fascinating, you-are-there experience . . . an ear to history in the making.” —William Safire, The New York Times

Until The New Press first published May It Please the Court in 1993, few Americans knew that every case argued before the Supreme Court since 1955 had been recorded. The original book-and-tape set was a revelation to readers and reviewers, quickly becoming a bestseller and garnering praise across the nation.

May It Please the Court includes both live recordings and transcripts of oral arguments in twenty-three of the most significant cases argued before the Supreme Court in the second half of the twentiethcentury. This edition makes the recordings available on an MP3 audio CD. Through the voices of some of the nation’s most important lawyers and justices, including Thurgood Marshall, Archibald Cox, and Earl Warren, it offers a chance to hear firsthand our justice system at work, in the highest court of the land.

Cases included:

  • Gideon v. Wainwright (right to counsel)
  • Abington School District v. Schempp (school prayer)
  • Miranda v. Arizona (“the right to remain silent”)
  • Roe v. Wade (abortion rights)
  • Edwards v. Aguillard (teaching “creationism”)
  • Regents v. Bakke (reverse discrimination)
  • Wisconsin v. Yoder (compulsory schooling for the Amish)
  • Tinker v. Des Moines (Vietnam protest in schools)
  • Texas v. Johnson (flag burning)
  • New York Times v. United States (Pentagon Papers)
  • Cox v. Louisiana (civil rights demonstrations)
  • Communist Party v. Subversive Activities Control Board (freedom of association)
  • Terry v. Ohio (“stop and frisk” by police)
  • Gregg v. Georgia (capital punishment)
  • Cooper v. Aaron (Little Rock school desegregation)
  • Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (public accommodations)
  • Palmer v. Thompson (swimming pool integration)
  • Loving v. Virginia (interracial marriage)
  • San Antonio v. Rodriguez (equal funding for public schools)
  • Bowers v. Hardwick (homosexual rights)
  • Baker v. Carr (“one person, one vote”)
  • United States v. Nixon (Watergate tapes)
  • DeShaney v. Winnebago County (child abuse)
  • Praise

    “A front-row seat in America’s most powerful courtroom, where very, very few have had the opportunity to sit.”
    American Bar Association Journal
    “A treasure trove . . . that provides insight into the Supreme Court and the judicial process that is otherwise available only to those who find themselves in Washington, D.C., at just the right time.”
    Los Angeles Times Book Review
    “One of the most effective teaching tools available.”
    The Washington Post
    “A strong and direct whiff of history.”
    The New York Times Book Review

    News and Reviews

    The New York Times

    The U.S. Supreme Court lifted restrictions on access to recordings

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    May It Please the Court
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    Stephanie Guitton, Peter Irons