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This reorganized and updated text provides a comprehensive examination of the American judicial system by describing and analyzing political influences on courts' structure, procedures, decision-making processes, and consequences for society. Professor Smith focuses on courts rather than on law because of the recognition that the content of law often depends on the composition of the judiciary, citizens' access to the judicial process, and judicial decision-making procedures. This revealing study of the courts challenges the myths and popular perceptions about law and justice in American society and covers unique topics such as court bureaucracy; subordinates' influences on judges' decisions; and social science approaches to decision making.
1. Courts, Politics, and the Judicial Process. 2. Court Organization. 3. The Legal Profession. 4. Criminal Justice Processes. 5. Civil Justice Processes. 6. Judicial Selection. 7. Judicial Decision Making. 8. Appellate Processes. 9. United States Supreme Court. 10. Courts and Policy Making. 11. Judicial Process: A Comparative Perspective.