The Supreme Court Compendium provides historical and statistical information on the Supreme Court: its institutional development; caseload; decision trends; the background, nomination, and voting behavior of its justices; its relationship with public, governmental, and other judicial bodies; and its impact. With over 180 tables and figures, this new edition is intended to capture the full retrospective picture through the 2013-2014 term of the Roberts Court and the momentous decisions handed down within the last four years, including United States v. Windsor, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, and Shelby County v. Holder.
This book comprehensively examines the United States legal system. While the most extensive coverage is given to the U.S. Supreme Court, the book also provides separate chapters on state courts, the U.S. District Courts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. The book systematically compares the effects of legal and political factors on different courts' decisions. Finally, we provide extended coverage to American legal process, with separate chapters on civil procedure, evidence, and criminal procedure.
Before Supreme Court nominees are allowed to take their place on the High Court, they must face a moment of democratic reckoning by appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite the potential this holds for public input into the direction of legal change, the hearings are routinely derided as nothing but empty rituals and political grandstanding. In this book, Paul M. Collins and Lori A. Ringhand present a contrarian view that uses both empirical data and stories culled from more than seventy years of transcripts to demonstrate that the hearings are a democratic forum for the discussion and ratification of constitutional change. As such, they are one of the ways in which 'We the People' take ownership of the Constitution by examining the core constitutional values of those permitted to interpret it on our behalf.
Law, Politics, and Supreme Court Decision Making in Brown v. Board of Education
Author: Jeffrey D. Hockett
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
On the way to offering a new analysis of the basis of the Supreme Court’s iconic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey Hockett critiques an array of theories that have arisen to explain it and Supreme Court decision making generally. Drawing upon justices’ books, articles, correspondence, memoranda, and draft opinions, A Storm over This Court demonstrates that the puzzle of Brown’s basis cannot be explained by any one theory. Borrowing insights from numerous approaches to analyzing Supreme Court decision making, this study reveals the inaccuracy of the popular perception that most of the justices merely acted upon a shared, liberal preference for an egalitarian society when they held that racial segregation in public education violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. A majority of the justices were motivated, instead, by institutional considerations, including a recognition of the need to present a united front in such a controversial case, a sense that the Court had a significant role to play in international affairs during the Cold War, and a belief that the Court had an important mission to counter racial injustice in American politics. A Storm over This Court demonstrates that the infusion of justices’ personal policy preferences into the abstract language of the Constitution is not the only alternative to an originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. Ultimately, Hockett concludes that the justices' decisions in Brown resist any single, elegant explanation. To fully explain this watershed decision—and, by implication, others—it is necessary to employ a range of approaches dictated by the case in question.
The Court’s decisions are interpreted and disseminated via the media. During this process, the media paints an image of the Court and its business. Like any artist, the media has license regarding what to cover and the amount of attention devoted to any aspect of the Court and its business. Some cases receive tremendous attention, while others languish on the back pages or are ignored. These selection effects create a skewed picture of the Court and its work, and might affect public attitudes toward the Court. Indeed, studies of media coverage of other governmental institutions reveal that when, and how, their policy decisions are covered has implications for the public’s understanding of, compliance with, support for, and cynicism about the policy. This book uncovers and describes this coverage and compares it to the confirmation hearings, the Court’s actual work, even its members. Rorie Spill Solberg and Eric N. Waltenburg analyze media coverage of nominations and confirmation hearings, the justices’ "extra-curricular" activities and their retirements/deaths, and the Court’s opinions, and compare this coverage to analyses of confirmation transcripts and the Court’s full docket. Solberg and Waltenburg contend that media now cover the Court and its personnel more similarly to its coverage of other political institutions. Journalists still regurgitate a mythology supported by the justices, a "cult of the robe," wherein unbiased and apolitical judges mechanically base their decisions upon the law and the Constitution. Furthermore, they argue the media also focus on the "cult of personality," wherein the media emphasize certain attributes of the justices and their work to match the public’s preferences for subject matter and content. The media’s portrayal, then, may undercut the Court’s legitimacy and its reservoir of good will.
Over the course of the past decade, the behavioral analysis of decisions by the Supreme Court has turned to game theory to gain new insights into this important institution in American politics. Game theory highlights the role of strategic interactions between the Court and other institutions in the decisions the Court makes as well as in the relations among the justices as they make their decisions. Rather than assume that the justices’ votes reveal their sincere preferences, students of law and politics have come to examine how the strategic concerns of the justices lead to "sophisticated" behavior as they seek to maximize achievement of their goals when faced with constraints on their ability to do so. In Institutional Games and the U.S. Supreme Court, James Rogers, Roy Flemming, and Jon Bond gather various essays that use game theory to explain the Supreme Court's interactions with Congress, the states, and the lower courts. Offering new ways of understanding the complexity and consequences of these interactions, the volume joins a growing body of work that considers these influential interactions among various branches of the U.S. government. Contributors: Kenneth A. Shepsle, Andrew De Martin, James R. Rogers, Christopher Zorn, Georg Vanberg, Cliff Carrubba, Thomas Hammond, Christopher Bonneau, Reginald Sheehan, Charles Cameron, Lewis A. Kornhauser, Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Matthew Stephenson, Stefanie A. Lindquist, Susan D. Haire, Lawrence Baum
Pathways to the U.S. Supreme Court is a quantitative-historical recapitulation of the routes taken to the US Supreme Court by the 112 Justices who were confirmed by the Senate and served, and the 28 others whose candidacies for confirmation were defeated, withdrawn, or declined.