• 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 ...

Decision Making on the U.S. Courts of Appeals
Decision making on the U.S. courts of appeals
JeffreyA.Segal, DonaldR.Songer, and CharlesM.Cameron

The courts of appeals occupy a pivotal position in our political system, the “vital center of the federal judicial system” (Howard 1981, 8). Since their creation in the 1890s, they have been responsible for ensuring the uniformity of national law in a diverse republic in which sectional pressures constantly seek to undermine that uniformity. More recently, they have become the principal means of supervising the myriad federal regulatory agencies. In both these roles, they are important policy makers: the final authoritative interpreters of federal law and the Constitution in the overwhelming majority of all civil and criminal cases filed in the federal courts.1

We consider decision making on ...

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