• 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 Dynamics and Determinants of Agenda Change in the Rehnquist Court
The dynamics and determinants of agenda change in the Rehnquist Court
RichardL.Pacelle, Jr.

Agenda building, the process by which the Supreme Court culls the cases and issues it wants to address from the mass of the petitions on its docket, arguably involves the most important decisions the Court makes. The Court faces a flood of petitions every year, in recent years more than 5,000 per term (O'Brien 1993, 233). The Court, however, has the institutional capacity to hear only a fraction of these cases. Traditionally, however, the Court has decided only about 200 to 250 cases each term, representing about 5 percent of the petitions. Most of the petitions that reach the Supreme Court's docket seek ...

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