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Seeking Justices

Author: Michael Comiskey
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN: 9780700613465
Size: 53.88 MB
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In the long shadows cast by the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas nominations, Supreme Court confirmations remain highly contentious and controversial. This is due in part to the Senate's increasing reliance upon a much lengthier, much more public, and occasionally raucous confirmation process--in an effort to curb the potential excesses of executive power created by presidents seeking greater control over the Court's ideological composition. Michael Comiskey offers the most comprehensive, systematic, and optimistic analysis of that process to date. Arguing that the process works well and therefore should not be significantly altered, Comiskey convincingly counters those critics who view highly contentious confirmation proceedings as the norm. Senators have every right and a real obligation, he contends, to scrutinize the nominees' constitutional philosophies. He further argues that the media coverage of the Senate's deliberations has worked to improve the level of such scrutiny and that recent presidents have neither exerted excessive influence on the appointment process nor created a politically extreme Court. He also examines the ongoing concern over presidential efforts to pack the court, concluding that stacking the ideological deck is unlikely. As an exception to the rule, Comiskey analyzes in depth the Thomas confirmation to explain why it was an aberration, offering the most detailed account yet of Thomas's pre-judicial professional and political activities. He argues that the Senate Judiciary Committee abdicated its responsibilities out of deference to Thomas's race. Another of the book's unique features is Comiskey's reassessment of the reputations of twentieth-century SupremeCourt justices. Based on a survey of nearly 300 scholars in constitutional law and politics, it shows that the modern confirmation process continues to fill Court vacancies with jurists as capable as those of earlier eras. We

Pursuit Of Justices

Author: David Alistair Yalof
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226945460
Size: 45.66 MB
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Yalof takes the reader behind the scenes of what happens before the Senate hearings to show how presidents decide who will sit on the highest court in the land. He draws on the papers of 7 modern presidents and firsthand interviews with key figures.

When Courts And Congress Collide

Author: Charles Gardner Geyh
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472024568
Size: 53.55 MB
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"This is quite simply the best study of judicial independence that I have ever read; it is erudite, historically aware, and politically astute." ---Malcolm M. Feeley, Claire Sanders Clements Dean's Professor, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley "Professor Geyh has written a wise and timely book that is informed by the author's broad and deep experience working with the judicial and legislative branches, by the insights of law, history and political science, and by an appreciation of theory and common sense." ---Stephen B. Burbank, David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, University of Pennsylvania Law School With Congress threatening to "go nuclear" over judicial appointments, and lawmakers accusing judges of being "arrogant, out of control, and unaccountable," many pundits see a dim future for the autonomy of America's courts. But do we really understand the balance between judicial independence and Congress's desire to limit judicial reach? Charles Geyh's When Courts and Congress Collide is the most sweeping study of this question to date, and an unprecedented analysis of the relationship between Congress and our federal courts. Efforts to check the power of the courts have come and gone throughout American history, from the Jeffersonian Congress's struggle to undo the work of the Federalists, to FDR's campaign to pack the Supreme Court, to the epic Senate battles over the Bork and Thomas nominations. If legislators were solely concerned with curbing the courts, Geyh suggests, they would use direct means, such as impeaching uncooperative judges, gerrymandering their jurisdictions, stripping the bench's oversight powers, or slashing judicial budgets. Yet, while Congress has long been willing to influence judicial decision-making indirectly by blocking the appointments of ideologically unacceptable nominees, it has, with only rare exceptions, resisted employing more direct methods of control. When Courts and Congress Collide is the first work to demonstrate that this balance is governed by a "dynamic equilibrium": a constant give-and-take between Congress's desire to control the judiciary and its respect for historical norms of judicial independence. It is this dynamic equilibrium, Geyh says, rather than what the Supreme Court or the Constitution says about the separation of powers, that defines the limits of the judiciary's independence. When Courts and Congress Collide is a groundbreaking work, requiring all of us to consider whether we are on the verge of radically disrupting our historic balance of governance. Charles Gardner Geyh is Professor of Law and Charles L. Whistler Faculty Fellow at Indiana University at Bloomington. He has served as director of the American Judicature Society's Center for Judicial Independence, reporter to the American Bar Association Commission on Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence, and counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Supreme Myths

Author: Eric J. Segall
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313396876
Size: 32.20 MB
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This book explores some of the most glaring misunderstandings about the U.S. Supreme Court—and makes a strong case for why our Supreme Court Justices should not be entrusted with decisions that affect every American citizen.

Six Amendments

Author: John Paul Stevens
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316373745
Size: 26.84 MB
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For the first time ever, a retired Supreme Court Justice offers a manifesto on how the Constitution needs to change. By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. SIX AMENDMENTS is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens. Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens's own Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, SIX AMENDMENTS is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.

Advice And Dissent

Author: Sarah A. Binder
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815703914
Size: 77.90 MB
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For better or worse, federal judges in the United States today are asked to resolve some of the nation's most important and contentious public policy issues. Although some hold onto the notion that federal judges are simply neutral arbiters of complex legal questions, the justices who serve on the Supreme Court and the judges who sit on the lower federal bench are in fact crafters of public law. In recent years, for example, the Supreme Court has bolstered the rights of immigrants, endorsed the constitutionality of school vouchers, struck down Washington D.C.'s blanket ban on handgun ownership, and most famously, determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. The judiciary now is an active partner in the making of public policy. Judicial selection has been contentious at numerous junctures in American history, but seldom has it seemed more acrimonious and dysfunctional than in recent years. Fewer than half of recent appellate court nominees have been confirmed, and at times over the past few years, over ten percent of the federal bench has sat vacant. Many nominations linger in the Senate for months, even years. All the while, the judiciary's caseload grows. Advice and Dissent explores the state of the nation's federal judicial selection system—a process beset by deepening partisan polarization, obstructionism, and deterioration of the practice of advice and consent. Focusing on the selection of judges for the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts, the true workhorses of the federal bench, Sarah A. Binder and Forrest Maltzman reconstruct the history and contemporary practice of advice and consent. They identify the political and institutional causes of conflict over judicial selection over the past sixty years, as well as the consequences of such battles over court appointments. Advice and Dissent offers proposals for reforming the institutions of judicial selection, advocating pragmatic reforms that seek to harness the incentives of presidents and senators together. How well lawmakers confront the breakdown in advice and consent will have lasting consequences for the institutional capacity of the U.S. Senate and for the performance of the federal bench.

Judicial Politics In The United States

Author: Mark C. Miller
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429973233
Size: 75.25 MB
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Judicial Politics in the United States examines the role of courts as policymaking institutions and their interactions with the other branches of government and other political actors in the U.S. political system. Not only does this book cover the nuts and bolts of the functions, structures and processes of our courts and legal system, it goes beyond other judicial process books by exploring how the courts interact with executives, legislatures, and state and federal bureaucracies. It also includes a chapter devoted to the courts' interactions with interest groups, the media, and general public opinion and a chapter that looks at how American courts and judges interact with other judiciaries around the world. Judicial Politics in the United States balances coverage of judicial processes with discussions of the courts' interactions with our larger political universe, making it an essential text for students of judicial politics.

Supreme Democracy

Author: Richard Davis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190656980
Size: 61.98 MB
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In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Supreme Court nominations were driven by presidents, senators, and some legal community elites. Many nominations were quick processes with little Senate deliberation, minimal publicity and almost no public involvement. Today, however, confirmation takes 81 days on average-Justice Antonin Scalia's former seat has already taken much longer to fill-and it is typically a media spectacle. How did the Supreme Court nomination process become so public and so nakedly political? What forces led to the current high-stakes status of the process? How could we implement reforms to improve the process? In Supreme Democracy: The End of Elitism in the Supreme Court Nominations, Richard Davis, an eminent scholar of American politics and the courts, traces the history of nominations from the early republic to the present. He examines the component parts of the nomination process one by one: the presidential nomination stage, the confirmation management process, the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the increasing involvement over time of interest groups, the news media, and public opinion. The most dramatic development, however, has been the democratization of politics. Davis delves into the constitutional underpinnings of the nomination process and its traditional form before describing a more democratic process that has emerged in the past half century. He details the struggle over image-making between supporters and opponents intended to influence the news media and public opinion. Most importantly, he provides a thorough examination of whether or not increasing democracy always produces better governance, and a better Court. Not only an authoritative analysis of the Supreme Court nomination process from the founding era to the present, Supreme Democracy will be an essential guide to all of the protracted nomination battles yet to come.

The Politics Of The Presidency

Author: Joseph A. Pika
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 148337565X
Size: 10.58 MB
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The Politics of the Presidency maintains a balance between historical context and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. Get the most up-to-date coverage and analysis in this comprehensive and accessible text. Authors Joseph A. Pika and John Anthony Maltese are joined for the Ninth Edition by noted scholar Andrew Rudalevige as they present a thorough analysis of the change and continuity in the presidency during Barack Obama's two terms in an entrenched partisan environment, discuss the competitive setting for the upcoming 2016 election, and look at the challenges and opportunities a new president will soon face.