Institutions of American Democracy: The Judicial Branch

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In recent years the Supreme Court has been at the center of such political issues as abortion rights, the administration of police procedures, and the determination of the 2000 presidential election. The checks and balances provided by the three branches of federal government are essential to nurturing and maintaining American democracy. With the guidance of coeditors Kermit L. Hall and Kevin T. McGuire, this volume of essays examines the role of the Judicial Branch in American democracy and the dynamic between the other branches of government, compares international models, and discusses possible measures for reform.
The Judicial Branch considers the impact of courts on American life and addresses such central questions as: Is the Supreme Court an institution of social justice? Is there a case for judicially created and protected social rights? Have the courts become sovereign when interpreting the Constitution?
Essays examine topics that include the judiciary in the founding of the nation; turning points in the history of the American judicial system; the separation of powers between the other branches of government; how the Supreme Court resolves political conflicts through legal means; what Americans know about the judiciary and its functions; and whether the American scheme of courts is the best way to support democracy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195309171
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/30/2005
  • Series: Institutions of American Democracy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

State University of New York, Albany

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

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Table of Contents

GENERAL INTRODUCTION: The Judicial Branch as an Institution of American Constitutional Democracy, Jaroslav Pelikan
INTRODUCTION, Kermit L. Hall and Kevin T. McGuire
1. The Historical Foundations of the American Judiciary, William E. Nelson
2. Judges and Democracy: The Changing Role of the United States Supreme Court, Cass R. Sunstein
3. Judicial Independence and the Majoritarian Difficulty
4. The Judiciary and the Separation of Powers, Richard A. Brisbin, Jr.
5. Judicial Review and Interpretation: Have the Courts Become Sovereign When Interpreting the Constitution?, Keith E. Whittington
6. Paths to the Bench: Selecting Supreme Court Justices in a "Juristocratic" World, Joel B. Grossman
7. Is Judicial Federalism Essential to Democracy? State Courts in the Federal System, Paul R. Brace and Melinda Gann Hall
8. American Courts and Democracy: A Comparative Perspective, Donald P. Kommers
9. Courts in American Popular Culture, Lynn Mather
10. What Americans Know about the Courts and Why It Matters, Gregory A. Caldeira and Kevin T. McGuire
11. The Impact of Courts on American Life, Gerald N. Rosenberg
12. Judicial Activism and American Democracy, Doris Marie Provine
13. Courts and the Rights Revolution, Charles R. Epp
14. Discrimination Through Direct Democracy: The Role of the Judiciary in the Pursuit of Equality, Sue Davis
15. From Republic to Democracy: The Judiciary and the Political Process, Mark A. Graber
16. Courts and the Definition of Defendants' Rights, David A. Yalof
17. Public Education, Democratic Life, and the American Courts, Douglas S. Reed
18. Property Rights and Democracy in the American Constitutional Order, James W. Ely, Jr.
19. The Future of the Judicial Branch: Courts and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century, Lawrence Baum

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