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.
Chapter 4: Judicial Selection and Removal
Judicial Selection and Removal
IN THINKING ABOUT JUDICIAL SELECTION, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA once said, “Diversity is good to have, but should not come at the expense of quality.” As he explained, “I don’t think there’s such a thing as a woman judge or a man judge or an Italian-American judge or an Anglo judge. There are good judges, and there are bad judges.”1 Yet in filling the vacancies created by the retirements of Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens, President Barack Obama selected the Court’s first Latino justice (Sonia Sotomayor) and picked only the third (Sonia Sotomayor) and fourth (Elena Kagan) women to sit on the Supreme Court since 1789 (the first two were Justices Sandra Day O’Connor ...