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Concerned that scholars in various disciplines were talking past each other and that policy debates concerning judicial independence were impoverished, the editors convened a conference of scholars from the disciplines of law, political science, history, economics and sociology. Judicial Independence at the Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Approach is a collection of essays reflecting the disciplinary perspectives of the authors and the shared understanding that emerged from the conference.

Behavioral Factors Affecting Judicial Independence
Behavioral factors affecting judicial independence
Charles H.Franklin

In considerable measure, judicial independence is a function of institutional structures. The Constitution creates a federal judiciary as a separate and coequal branch, not as the servant of the president or Congress. The power of judicial review provides a basis for the third branch to critique and invalidate actions of the elected branches. And the lifetime appointment of federal judges (along with protection against salary reduction) insulates the federal judiciary from personal retribution by Congress or the president. This is well known and widely considered in the literature.

Yet as Ferejohn (1999) points out, these institutional features seem insufficient to prevent a determined Congress and president from severely undermining the judiciary. The control over jurisdiction, appointment ...

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