• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Seventeen thought-provoking essays in this sophisticated yet accessible reader demonstrate how political scientists conduct research on law, courts, and the judicial process, and at the same time answer interesting, substantive questions. Illustrating the breadth and depth of judicial politics studies, the essays convey to students the array of contemporary thinking -- both theoretical and methodological -- at work in the field. The book's five parts cover subjects taught in most judicial politics courses. Because each chapter stands alone, instructors have the flexibility of assigning less than the whole book or chapters in a different order. Topics examined range from information used by voters electing judges to the credibility of victims of sexualized violence. Accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Contemplating Courts offers fascinating views ...

The Impact of Courts
The impact of courts

After the Supreme Court announced its decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), many observers predicted that grand social and political change would follow. Representatives of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for example, asserted that segregation in the nation's public schools would be completely eliminated within five years (see Rosenberg 1991, 43); others argued that Americans—even those opposed to desegregation—would express outrage over racially discriminatory practices because Brown would serve to enlighten them.

But did these and other predictions hold? The analysis by Rosenberg (1991) of the impact of the Brown decision suggests that they did not: neither desegregation nor vast changes in public opinion occurred in the wake of Brown, Even more broadly, ...

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