Most Americans think that judges should be, and are, generalists who decide a wide array of cases. Nonetheless, we now have specialized courts in many key policy areas. Specializing the Courts provides the first comprehensive analysis of this growing trend toward specialization in the federal and state court systems.
Lawrence Baum incisively explores the scope, causes, and consequences of judicial specialization in four areas that include most specialized courts: foreign policy and national security, criminal law, economic issues involving the government, and economic issues in the private sector. Baum examines the process by which court systems in the United States have become increasingly specialized and the motives that have led to the growth of specialization. He also considers the effects of judicial specialization on the work of the courts by demonstrating that under certain conditions, specialization can and does have fundamental effects on the policies that courts make. For this reason, the movement toward greater specialization constitutes a major change in the judiciary.
Norman Vieira and Leonard Gross provide an in-depth analysis of the political and legal framework surrounding the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees.
President Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court met with a fierce opposition that was apparent in his confirmation hearings, which were different in many ways from those of any previous nominee. Lasting longer than any other Supreme Court confirmation battle, the Senate hearings dragged on for eighty-seven hours over a twelve-day period. Bork personally testified for more than thirty hours, outlining his legal philosophy in greater detail than had ever before been required of a Supreme Court nominee. Nor had any previous Supreme Court nominee faced the number of witnesses who testified at the Bork hearings.
Deriving their material from hundreds of in-depth interviews with those who participated in the confirmation hearings, Vieira and Gross present a firsthand account of the behind-the-scenes pressure on senators to oppose Bork. Special-interest groups, they note, attempted to control the confirmation process, with both the media and public-opinion polls playing major roles in the defeat of the nomination. Both liberal and conservative groups used the Bork debate to raise money for political war chests.
This behind-the-scenes view of the politics and personalities involved in the Bork confirmation controversy provides a framework for future debates regarding the confirmation process. To help establish that framework, Vieira and Gross examine the similarities as well as the differences between the Bork confirmation battle and other confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominees. They also analyze the Supreme Court nominations made after the Bork hearings, including an extensive examination of the controversial Clarence Thomas nomination.
Since it first appeared in 1960, The Supreme Court Review (SCR) has won acclaim for providing a sustained and authoritative survey of the implications of the Court's most significant decisions. SCR is an in-depth annual critique of the Supreme Court and its work, keeping up on the forefront of the origins, reforms, and interpretations of American law. SCR is written by and for legal academics, judges, political scientists, journalists, historians, economists, policy planners, and sociologists.
This year’s volume features incisive assessments of major legal events, including:
Cristina M. Rodríguez on the Political Significance of Law
Martha Minow on Little Sisters of the Poor
Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule on the Unitary Executive
Cary Franklin on Living Textualism
David A. Strauss on Sexual Orientation and the Dynamics of Discrimination
Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash on the Executive’s Privileges and Immunities
Reva B. Siegel on Abortion Restrictions
Maggie Blackhawk on McGirt v. Oklahoma
Richard J. Lazarus on Advocacy History
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