• 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 Mysterious Case of Establishment Clause Litigation: How Organized Litigants Foiled Legal Change
The mysterious case of establishment clause litigation: How organized litigants foiled legal change

According to Arthur Conan Doyle's classic literary figure Sherlock Holmes, in solving a crime, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” (Doyle 1930, 111). In important ways, Holmes also could have been describing the task confronting social scientists. Quite often scholarly research resembles detective work: when we observe patterns of social behavior that deviate from what we would normally expect, we set up a list of suspects (sometimes called hypotheses) that could explain the deviation. With those suspects in hand, we often proceed just as Holmes described: eliminate the impossible and accept whatever ...

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