• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Judicial Organization and Administration
Judicial Organization and Administration

SOME COURT WATCHERS CLAIM THAT “STATE COURTS HAVE BECOME A NEW

battleground” for politicians and special interest groups who disagree with their rulings—ranging from abortion to capital punishment, to public school financing, to same-sex marriage. Justices and judges increasingly face threats of impeachment, for example, and millions of special interest dollars are spent on attack ads aimed at unseating them in retention elections. Other tactics include introducing legislation that would sharply cut court funding, reduce judicial salaries, or impose term limits and retirement age requirements.1

A widely used tactic is judicial reform that alters court organization and judicial administration in retaliation for politically controversial rulings. Such was the aim in 2011 of Florida Republican legislators who were angry over ...

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