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Dismantling American Common Law: Liberty and Justice in Our Transformed Courts

ISBN-13: 978-0739123775
ISBN-10: 0739123777
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Editorial Reviews


America's abandonment of its original legal-political tradition is a timely topic, given concerns about the judicializing of politics and how to foster the rule of law in our democratic era. The eclipse of the traditional common law in academia and the courts removes a pillar of constitutional democracy. Kyle Scott shows that this is the crucial missing context for our debates about powerful lawyers and litigation, and about judicial activism. Students of law, judicial power, and political development will profit from this display that old ideas and authors guide the spirit of current policies and disputes. (Paul Carrese, author of The Cloaking of Power: Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism)

This fine scholarly book contains ample, carefully compiled footnotes and an excellent bibliography....Recommended. (CHOICE)

This perspective offers a new lens to ask questions about democracy, authority, and stability....Scott can add to this pursuit an appreciation for quantitative methods, which is well regarded in social science history. By asking theoretical questions and testing for variables drawn from that inquiry, Scott is encouraging an expansion of methods in studies of legal development. (Kathleen Sullivan, Ohio University)

Common law normally escapes the attention of political scientists. Kyle Scott breaks this unfortunate tradition with an imaginative study that weds traditional jurisprudential and philosophical arguments with sophisticated empirical cross-state comparative analysis. Common law practices have eroded in the American states and Scott's analysis alerts us to the importance of this change and to the underlying political processes that fueled this transformation. (Paul Brace, Rice University)

About the Author

Kyle Scott is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Florida.


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Dismantling American Common Law: Liberty and Justice in Our Transformed Courts
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