• 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.

Appellate Courts and Decision Making
Appellate Courts and Decision Makingy

After the landmark gun-rights ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), President Barack Obama stated he “always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms.” Yet he also sympathized with gun-control advocates, stating that he could “identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures.” And he claimed that “the Supreme Court has now endorsed that view.”1

Still, before Heller, the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment differently because it only allowed state militias to bear arms and did not guarantee personal gun rights. That led over several decades to a variety of conservative interest groups ...

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