Despite their clarity and sophistication, most judicial process texts currently available have two significant limitations. First, they understate the effects of legal factors such as stare decisis on judicial decision-making and second, they fail to convey the human emotions involved in litigation. Reflecting the author’s experience as a political scientist, law student, judicial clerk, practicing attorney, and law professor, May It Please the Court: Judicial Processes and Politics in America, Second Edition redresses this imbalance by giving well-deserved attention to legal influences on judicial decisions and to the human drama of litigation. Each chapter reflects the book’s premise that the judicial process operates at the intersection of law and politics, and this theme guides the discussions. The coverage in the book is far-reaching, exploring numerous topics, including the structure of federal and state courts, the selection and removal of judges, and the legal profession’s history and culture. It discusses two hypothetical cases, outlining their trial and appellate proceedings. It also presents an engaging debate about the legitimacy and the utility of judicial policy making. New to this edition: Expanded appendices, including a discussion of computerized legal research New illustrative cases, documents, and web references All chapters updated to reflect changes since the first publication in 2001 The final chapter summarizes the theme of the book, noting that courts not only enforce norms and resolve disputes, but also, as a coequal branch of government, shape the fundamental power relationships that drive American politics. The chapter ends by observing that the judicial process offers a window on the entire American political system. This book clarifies the view from that window.
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