Building the Judiciary: Law, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development

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Overview

"With the arrival of this book, the idea that elected politicians and unelected judges operate in separate spheres finally has to be put aside. A blockbuster work, this magnificent rendition of how Congress has built federal judicial power invites us to recognize the national judiciary as a central actor in American politics, placed there by continuous legislative design."--Rick Valelly, Swarthmore College

"Building the Judiciary reveals a fascinating paradox of American political development: the courts are periodically pulled into partisan rancor and interbranch warfare, and yet these episodes have resulted in the building of an autonomous and powerful judiciary. This pathbreaking book is a major contribution to understanding how judges have participated in institutional reforms that have forged a unique American state and is a must read for understanding the politics of judicial statecraft."--Sidney Milkis, University of Virginia

"Accurate, accessible, and sound, this book is a much-needed comprehensive developmental history of the entire federal court system. It is a valuable reference work for lawyers, historians, political scientists, and anyone else interested in this subject."--Mark Graber, University of Maryland School of Law

"This is an excellent book, richly textured and nicely argued. Crowe is to be commended for so successfully analyzing the development of the judiciary, given the broad sweep of history covered. His book is a significant contribution to the study of law and courts and will cement the author's reputation as one of the field's brightest young stars."--Kevin McMahon, Trinity College

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Crowe takes the position that, despite the conventional wisdom that the institutional legitimacy of the federal judiciary is a product of its own decisions, the growth of the institutional development and legitimacy of the national courts is a result of continued and strategic decisions made by political actors outside the judiciary. This interesting, important, and timely thesis is supported by the author's use of events through history. Crowe proves to be a master storyteller; the book is excellently researched and written, and the thesis is strongly and articulately supported. . . . Scholars interested in the judiciary, American political development, Congress, and U.S. history will benefit from this thoughtful book.
From the Publisher

"Crowe takes the position that, despite the conventional wisdom that the institutional legitimacy of the federal judiciary is a product of its own decisions, the growth of the institutional development and legitimacy of the national courts is a result of continued and strategic decisions made by political actors outside the judiciary. This interesting, important, and timely thesis is supported by the author's use of events through history. Crowe proves to be a master storyteller; the book is excellently researched and written, and the thesis is strongly and articulately supported. . . . Scholars interested in the judiciary, American political development, Congress, and U.S. history will benefit from this thoughtful book."--Choice

"Building the Judiciary is excellently written and accessible to readers who may have no background in American politics. I highly recommend the book to comparative judicial politics scholars who want to learn about the institutional development of the American federal judiciary."--Maria Popova, Perspectives on Politics

"To illustrate the political process of constructing federal judicial institutions, Crowe has composed a book of remarkable architectural elegance."--Stephen M. Engel, Tulsa Law Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Justin Crowe is assistant professor of political science at Williams College.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix
Chapter One: The Puzzle of Judicial Institution Building 1
Chapter Two: The Early Republic: Establishment 23
Chapter Three: Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy: Reorganization 84
Four The Civil War and Reconstruction: Empowerment 132
Chapter Five: The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era: Restructuring 171
Chapter Six: The Interwar and New Deal Years: Bureaucratization 197
Chapter Seven: Modern America: Specialization 238
Chapter Eight: Judicial Power in a Political World 270
Index 281
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