The United States Supreme Court has numbered nine justices for the past 150 years. But that number is not fixed. With the Democrats controlling the House and Senate during the Biden presidency, they could add justices to the Supreme Court. But would court packing destroy the Court as an apolitical judicial institution? This is the crucial question Stephen Feldman addresses in his provocative book, Pack the Court! He uses a historical, analytical, and political argument to justify court-packing in general and Democratic court-packing more specifically.
Republicans and Democrats alike profess to worry that court-packing will destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a judicial institution by injecting politics into a purely legal adjudicative process. But as Feldman’s insightful book shows, law and politics are forever connected in judicial interpretation and decision making. Pack the Court! insists that court packing is not the threat to the Supreme Court’s institutional legitimacy that many fear. Given this, Feldman argues that Democrats should pack the Court while they have the opportunity. Doing so might even strengthen the American people’s faith in the Court.
The exceptionality of America’s Supreme Court has long been conventional wisdom. But the United States Supreme Court is no longer the only one changing the landscape of public rights and values. Over the past thirty years, the European Court of Human Rights has developed an ambitious, American-style body of law. Unheralded by the mass press, this obscure tribunal in Strasbourg, France has become, in many ways, the Supreme Court of Europe.
Michael Goldhaber introduces American audiences to the judicial arm of the Council of Europe—a group distinct from the European Union, and much larger—whose mission is centered on interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights. The Council routinely confronts nations over their most culturally-sensitive, hot-button issues. It has stared down France on the issue of Muslim immigration; Ireland on abortion; Greece on Greek Orthodoxy; Turkey on Kurdish separatism; Austria on Nazism; and Britain on gay rights and corporal punishment. And what is most extraordinary is that nations commonly comply.
In the battle for the world’s conscience, Goldhaber shows how the court in Strasbourg may be pulling ahead.
Winner, ISHS Superior Achievement Award for a Scholarly Publication, 2016
A concise legal history of Illinois through the end of the nineteenth century, Prairie Justice covers the region’s progression from French to British to early American legal systems, which culminated in a unique body of Illinois law that has influenced other jurisdictions. Written by Roger L. Severns in the 1950s and published in serial form in the 1960s, Prairie Justice is available now for the first time as a book, thanks to the work of editor John A. Lupton, an Illinois and legal historian who also contributed an introduction.
Illinois’ legal development demonstrates the tension between two completely different European legal systems, between river communities and prairie towns, and between agrarian and urban interests. Severns uses several rulings—including a reconstitution of the Supreme Court in 1824, slavery-related cases, and the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice—to examine political movements in Illinois and their impact on the local judiciary. Through legal decisions, the Illinois judiciary became an independent, co-equal branch of state government. By the mid-nineteenth century, Illinois had established itself as a leading judicial authority, influencing not only the growing western frontier but also the industrialized and farming regions of the country. With a close eye for detail, Severns reviews the status of the legal profession during the 1850s by looking new members of the Court, the nostalgia of circuit riding, and how a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln rose to prominence.
Illinois has a rich judicial history, but that history has not been adequately documented until now. With the publication of Prairie Justice, those interested in Illinois legal history finally have a book that covers the development of the state’s judiciary in its formative years.
The Presidency in the Courts was first published in 1957. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Do the American courts restrain the President from committing illegal and unconstitutional acts? If so, how? These are the fundamental questions which are answered here through a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the opinions and decisions of the courts themselves. As Clinton Rossiter, author of "The American Presidency," points out, "Too many books on the Presidency deal with the powers of this great office, too few with the restraints that fix its place in our system of government. Students of the system will be grateful to Professor Schubert for this tough-minded, even-tempered, exhaustive study of a neglected aspect of the Presidency."
Professor Schubert analyzes hundreds of judicial cases, both federal and state, involving challenges to the legality of presidential action. The period covered is the entire lifetime of the republic and the material is arranged according to the President's major institutional roles, those of chief administrator, chief of state, commander in chief, and chief magistrate.
There are chapters on presidential management of public personnel and the public domain, his control of foreign relations and the tariff, his military powers, enemy aliens, the presidential seizure power and other emergency powers, legal sources of presidential power, due process in presidential lawmaking, and the scope of judicial review of presidential action. Both the theory and practice of presidential rule making and adjudication are examined in detail.
The book, the first of its kind, reveals how far from actuality are the generally held beliefs regarding the power of the courts versus the power of the Presidency. The significance of such a study is readily apparent in view of the fact that the fate not only of the United States but of Western civilization will hang in the balance of the President's exercise of his official powers during the next decade.
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