The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics is an all-new, concise yet comprehensive core text that introduces students to the nature and significance of the judicial process in the United States and across the globe. It is social scientific in its approach, situating the role of the courts and their impact on public policy within a strong foundation in legal theory, or political jurisprudence, as well as legal scholarship. Authors Christopher P. Banks and David M. O’Brien do not shy away from the politics of the judicial process, and offer unique insight into cutting-edge and highly relevant issues. In its distinctive boxes, “Contemporary Controversies over Courts” and “In Comparative Perspective,” the text examines topics such as the dispute pyramid, the law and morality of same-sex marriages, the “hardball politics” of judicial selection, plea bargaining trends, the right to counsel and “pay as you go” justice, judicial decisions limiting the availability of class actions, constitutional courts in Europe, the judicial role in creating major social change, and the role lawyers, juries and alternative dispute resolution techniques play in the U.S. and throughout the world. Photos, cartoons, charts, and graphs are used throughout the text to facilitate student learning and highlight key aspects of the judicial process.

The Politics of Law and Jurisprudence

The Politics of Law and Jurisprudence


Northup’s life as a slave before the Civil War. Although a free man in New York, he was sold into slavery and shipped to a Louisiana plantation. While in captivity for twelve years, he endured unspeakable cruelty. Although he tried to get legal relief in court after his escape, Northup’s oppressors were never brought to justice.1 Other fictional accounts of slavery, including Quentin Tarantino’s popular film Django Unchained, project a different irony by suggesting that freed slaves only received justice by resorting to extralegal acts of vigilantism and violence against slave owners.

These popular films and other examples highlight the deep divisions over issues of ...

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