• 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 ...

Do Court Decisions Matter?
Do court decisions matter?

In the case of Bates v. State Bar of Arizona (1977), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment precluded an absolute ban on the advertising of legal services. In so doing, it struck down regulations explicitly banning all advertising activity by lawyers. This decision followed Bigelow v. Virginia (1975) and Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (1976), in which the Supreme Court held that economic or commercial speech was worthy of constitutional protection.

These cases and others pertaining to professional advertising, in particular, highlight a significant question about the impact of government decisions.1 In Bates there was no mandate by the government; no particular behavior was being demanded of lawyers. Rather, the Court ...

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