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Justice vs. Law: Courts and Politics in American Society

Overview

'Justice vs. Law realistically, sophisticatedly, comprehensively, and engagingly addresses the trauma of the judicial process: the innate contradiction of courts of law playing a major political role in America's government. Ably and imaginatively analyzed by the two authors, it is a role that raises the fundamental question of whether the judicial quest is to be for 'equal justice under law' or 'justice at any cost.' -Henry J. Abraham
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Justice vs. Law: Courts and Politics in American Society

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Overview

'Justice vs. Law realistically, sophisticatedly, comprehensively, and engagingly addresses the trauma of the judicial process: the innate contradiction of courts of law playing a major political role in America's government. Ably and imaginatively analyzed by the two authors, it is a role that raises the fundamental question of whether the judicial quest is to be for 'equal justice under law' or 'justice at any cost.' -Henry J. Abraham
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While the power of the courts directly affects our lives, as have the Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education decisions, the authors contend that, contrary to our concept of the courts as ``arbiters of competing moral claims,'' their task is not to embody justice but to define public policy under the law. Among other cases in this clear exposition of a highly complex subject, McDowell ( Equity and the Constitution ) and Hickok ( Constitutionalism v. Congress ) cite the three-year-long judicial procedures in DeShaney v. Winnebago County , a case filed in 1988 involving a boy rendered brain-dead by an abusive father. Before the Supreme Court, the mother claimed $1 million in damages, charging Wisconsin social workers with negligence as ``a constitutional deprivation under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.'' She lost. The authors also review politicization of the selection and confirmation of justices, from conservative to activist, including the Bork controversy, and speculate on the future of the present court, along with the ``brokering'' nature of the present Congress. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This overview of recent U.S. Supreme Court controversies shows how the case DeShaney v. Winnego County Social Services (1989), which concerns child abuse, demonstrates major issues of constitutional interpretation and the transformation and meaning of due process of law of the 14th Amendment. Dickinson College professor Hickok and McDowell, a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, reveal conflicting views among Supreme Court justices about the Court's proper role in American politics and the scope of judicial authority. They investigate the court's obligations within the 14th Amendment's due process clause. The authors also praise the effort of Presidents Reagan and Bush to return courts to what the authors consider the proper constitutional role by stemming judicial activism in the federal courts. This book effectively incorporates main tenets of modern constitutional interpretation and provides information about key constitutional controversies. Highly recommended.-- Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743236287
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2002
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 An "Undeniably Tragic" Case 1
2 Joshua's Quest For Justice and the Logic of the Law 13
3 May It Please the Court 56
4 Doing Justice in the Name of the Law: The Transformation of Due Process of Law 80
5 Constitutional Moralism and The Politics of Advice and Consent 122
6 How Great a Revolution? 163
7 Epilogue:Judicial Supremacy and the Decline of Popular Government 193
Notes 221
Acknowledgments 239
Indexes 241
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