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The View of the Courts from the Hill

Interactions between Congress and the Federal Judiciary
Mark C. Miller

BUY Cloth · 264 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813928104 · $49.50 · May 2009
BUY Ebook · 264 pp. · ISBN 9780813928210 · $49.50 · May 2009

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 all the institutions of government. Expanding on his previous work on this important theme, Mark C. Miller has interviewed numerous key players specifically for this book. His subjects include members of Congress, federal judges, congressional staff, employees of the judicial branch, lobbyists, and others with an interest in the courts. Their candid and thorough comments provide an invaluable resource for students and scholars eager to explore the dynamics between congressional and judicial forces as they have evolved over the past two decades.

The book examines customary interactions between Congress and the federal courts—especially the U.S. Supreme Court—as well as extraordinary conflicts between the two branches of government both today and throughout American history. Miller gives special attention to recent attempts by social conservatives in Congress to silence the voice of the courts in the inter-institutional dialogue through the use of court-stripping measures, threats of impeachment of federal judges, and a proposal for an inspector general for the courts. Particular focus is placed on the interactions between the courts and the House Judiciary Committee under Republican control, as well as the approach taken by the Religious Right toward federal judges and the federal courts in general. The book concludes with a call for the protection of judicial independence in order to preserve the voice of the federal courts in the constitutional interpretation dialogue.


The View of the Courts from the Hill makes important contributions to our understanding of the changing nature of Court-Congress interaction. It builds on Miller’s and other scholars’ earlier insights on this unique inter-institutional relationship. Logically organized and readable—but also scholarly—the book will be of primary interest to Court-Congress scholars, and it will be of significant interest to other scholars of the judicial process and the legislative process.

Mitchell Pickerill, Washington State University, author of Constitutional Deliberation in Congress: The Impact of Judicial Review in a Separated System

About the Author(s): 

Mark C. Miller is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Law and Society Program at Clark University and the editor of Exploring Judicial Politics.

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