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Constitutionalism and Democracy

This series publishes outstanding titles on constitutional politics, legal culture, and the historical relationship between democratic government and the social and economic forces that shape it. The editors seek manuscripts on constitutional development and legal history as well as both qualitative and quantitative analyses of judicial politics. At the same time, they aim to encompass a broader set of topics, including comparative law and courts, new institutionalism, and the theory of democratic principles and legal institutions.

Series Editors: Gregg Ivers and Kevin T. McGuire 

Advisory Editors: Gregory Caldeira, Howard Gillman, David O’Brien, Mark Tushnet, Keith Whittington


The Battle for the Court

Lawrence Baum, David Klein, and Matthew J. Streb

Once largely ignored, judicial elections in the states have become increasingly controversial over the past two decades. Legal organizations, prominent law professors, and a retired Supreme Court justice have advocated the elimination of elections as a means to choose judges. One of their... More


Of Courtiers and Kings

Edited by Todd C. Peppers and Clare Cushman

Supreme Court justices have long relied on law clerks to help process the work of the Court. Yet few outside the Court are privy to the behind-the-scenes bonds that form between justices and their clerks. In Of Courtiers and Kings, Todd C. Peppers and Clare Cushman offer an intimate... More


Voters' Verdicts

Chris W. Bonneau and Damon M. Cann

In Voters’ Verdicts, Chris Bonneau and Damon Cann address contemporary concerns with judicial elections by investigating factors that influence voters’ decisions in the election of state supreme court judges. Bonneau and Cann demonstrate that the move to nonpartisan elections, while it... More


Diversity Matters

Susan B. Haire and Laura P. Moyer

Until President Jimmy Carter launched an effort to diversify the lower federal courts, the U.S. courts of appeals had been composed almost entirely of white males. But by 2008, over a quarter of sitting judges were women and 15 percent were African American or Hispanic. Underlying the... More


The View from the Bench and Chambers

Jennifer Barnes Bowie, Donald R. Songer, and John Szmer

For most of their history, the U.S. courts of appeals have toiled in obscurity, well out of the limelight of political controversy. But as the number of appeals has increased dramatically, while the number of cases heard by the Supreme Court has remained the same, the courts of appeals have... More


A Storm over This Court

Jeffrey D. Hockett

On the way to offering a new analysis of the basis of the Supreme Court’s iconic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Jeffrey Hockett critiques an array of theories that have arisen to explain it and Supreme Court decision making generally. Drawing upon justices’ books, articles,... More


The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond

Barry Alan Shain, ed.

Americans have been claiming and defending rights since long before the nation achieved independence. But few Americans recognize how profoundly the nature of rights has changed over the past three hundred years. In The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond, Barry Alan Shain... More


In Chambers

Edited by Todd C. Peppers and Artemus Ward

Written by former law clerks, legal scholars, biographers, historians, and political scientists, the essays in In Chambers tell the fascinating story of clerking at the Supreme Court. In addition to reflecting the personal experiences of the law clerks with their justices, the essays reveal... More


Institutional Games and the U.S. Supreme Court

Edited by James R. Rogers, Roy B. Flemming, and Jon R. Bond

Over the course of the past decade, the behavioral analysis of decisions by the Supreme Court has turned to game theory to gain new insights into this important institution in American politics. Game theory highlights the role of strategic interactions between the Court and other... More


Merely Judgment

Martin J. Sweet

Merely Judgment uses affirmative action in government contracting, legislative vetoes, flag burning, hate speech, and school prayer as windows for understanding how Supreme Court decisions send signals regarding the Court’s policy preferences to institutions and actors (such as lower courts... More


Battle over the Bench

Amy Steigerwalt

Who gets seated on the lower federal courts and why? Why are some nominees confirmed easily while others travel a long, hard road to confirmation? What role do senators and interest groups play in determining who will become a federal judge? The lower federal courts have increasingly become... More


Law, Politics, and Perception

Eileen Braman

Are judges' decisions more likely to be based on personal inclinations or legal authority? The answer, Eileen Braman argues, is both. Law, Politics, and Perception brings cognitive psychology to bear on the question of the relative importance of norms of legal reasoning versus decision... More


The View of the Courts from the Hill

Mark C. Miller

The View of the Courts from the Hill explores the current interactions and relationship between the U.S. Congress and federal courts using a "governance as dialogue" approach, which argues that constitutional interpretation in the United States is a continuous and complex conversation among... More


Answering the Call of the Court

Vanessa A. Baird

The U.S. Supreme Court is the quintessential example of a court that expanded its agenda into policy areas that were once reserved for legislatures. Yet scholars know very little about what causes attention to various policy areas to ebb and flow on the Supreme Court’s agenda. Vanessa A.... More


Strategic Selection

Christine L. Nemacheck

The process by which presidents decide whom to nominate to fill Supreme Court vacancies is obviously of far-ranging importance, particularly because the vast majority of nominees are eventually confirmed. But why is one individual selected from among a pool of presumably qualified candidates... More


Judging on a Collegial Court

Virginia A. Hettinger, Stefanie A. Lindquist, and Wendy L. Martinek

in the professional world as a starting point for collaboration; rather than leaving decisions to just one person, dissent offers the opportunity to rethink or reinvent an idea, leading, one hopes, to a better result. When dissensus occurs in a federal court, however, it raises the question... More


Justice Curtis in the Civil War Era

Stuart Streichler

During a career as both a lawyer and a Supreme Court justice, Benjamin R. Curtis addressed practically every major constitutional question of the mid-nineteenth century, making judgments that still resonate in American law. Aside from a family memoir written by his brother over one hundred... More


Creating Constitutional Change

Gregg Ivers and Kevin T. McGuire, eds.

Because the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tell us what the Constitution means, they can create constitutional change. For quite some time, general readers who have been interested in understanding those changes have not had a concise volume that explores major decisions in which those... More


Judicial Independence in the Age of Democracy

Peter H. Russell and David M. O'Brien, eds.

This collection of essays by leading scholars of constitutional law looks at a critical component of constitutional democracy--judicial independence--from an international comparative perspective. Peter H. Russell's introduction outlines a general theory of judicial independence, while the... More


The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson

David N. Mayer

In this comprehensive account of Thomas Jefferson's constitutional thought, David N. Mayer offers a fresh perspective on Jefferson's philosophy of government. Eschewing the "liberalism versus civic republicanism" debate that has so dominated early American scholarship in recent years, Mayer... More


Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity

Stephen L. Wasby

The first book-length study of civil rights litigation from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, Race Relations Litigation in an Age of Complexity fills a void in the scholarly literature on American courts and poltics in the post Brown versus Board of Education era.


The Martinsville Seven

Eric W. Rise

This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of the case of the Martinsville Seven, a group of young black men executed in 1951 for the rape of a white woman in Martinsville, Virginia. Covering every aspect of the proceedings from the commission of the crime through two appeals, Eric W... More


New Communitarian Thinking

Amitai Etzioni, ed.

Communitarian thought is at the heart of a fierce debate in political theory about the justice, efficacy, and future of liberalism and liberal societies. Amitai Etzioni has collected a sterling list of contributors who bring communitarian thinking to bear on such timely and contentious... More


Courts, Politics, and Culture in Israel

Martin Edelman

In this clearly written and tightly argued analysis of the various Israeli court systems, Martin Edelman probes a fundamental issue: whether those courts protect human rights while fostering the development of a common, inclusive national culture. Edelman's work is based on the... More


The Supreme Court Bar

Kevin T. McGuire

Who represents litigants in the Supreme Court of the United States? Kevin T. McGuire shows that the most sophisticated of them have the advantage of representation by an elite counsel made up of former clerks to the justices, alumni of the Office of the Solicitor General, partners in... More


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