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Are Judges Political?: An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary Hardcover – June 8, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recommended." —D. S. Mann, College of Charleston, CHOICE, 5/1/2007



"Recommended for academic and law libraries, as well as court administrators and administrative judges who strive to maintain nonpartisanship on the bench." —Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Library, Library Journal, 9/1/2006



"Not only is this a solid piece of research, it also does a remarkable job of translating complex ideas —long floating around in the social sciences —into prose accessible to a broad audience. This is an important service. Plus, the book couldn't come at a better time. Senators (and presidents), for the most part, understand the ideological component of judging but the public seems to need a reminder. ARE JUDGES POLITICAL? provides just that." —Lee Epstein, Northwestern University



"ARE JUDGES POLITICAL? is thoughtful and careful. It is a terrific empirical introduction to the politics of judicial decisionmaking, an area that is capturing the imagination of many in the legal academy. The analysis of panel effects, which appear to be as large as partisan effects, is especially interesting." —Jeffrey A. Segal, Stony Brook University



"a short, readable, book that gets to implications after only 128 pages of straight-forward, hypothesis-driven, data-mining text. The accessibility of this book makes it a good choice for teachers who want to provoke students to discuss issues on the basis of empirical evidence, and it might lead some students to think about doing this kind of research themselves." — Law and Politics Book Review



"For two decades now U.S. senators have fought fiercely about the appointments of federal appellate judges, all in the belief that the political ideologies of judges affect their decisions. But do they? This dazzling little book answers the question--and the answer is more interesting than we would have thought. ARE JUDGES POLITICAL? will change and deepen the way we think about the law and judges." —Neil Coughlan, Judicial Evaluation Institute, Commonweal, 10/6/2006



"This is a significant book. The judiciary decides many important policy questions in the United States, and in practice the circuit court judiciary is much more important than the Supreme Court. This is evident by the great and growing press and political attention to judicial nominees. ARE JUDGES POLITICAL? greatly informs the debate, with its empirical findings and its discussion of their pragmatic significance." —Frank B. Cross, University of Texas-Austin

Review

"This is a significant book. The judiciary decides many important policy questions in the United States, and in practice the circuit court judiciary is much more important than the Supreme Court. This is evident by the great and growing press and political attention to judicial nominees. ARE JUDGES POLITICAL? greatly informs the debate, with its empirical findings and its discussion of their pragmatic significance." ¿Frank B. Cross, University of Texas-Austin

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (June 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815782349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815782346
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on August 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second of two current book-length examinations of judicial behavior on the United States Courts of Appeals. The other book is "Judging on a Collegial Court" by Hettinger et al., also reviewed on Amazon. The Courts of Appeals, or middle level of the federal court system, merit such attention because for nearly all federal litigation, they are the ultimate court of decision as they oversee the 93 or so district courts. As was the case with the Hettinger volume, while there is no denying that the authors rely upon statistical methods and even (perish the thought!) an occasional chart displaying data, the analysis is so clear and well developed that one does not have to be a political scientist or statistician to follow the discussion quite nicely. And this is vital because these courts are extremely important.

The authors set out to test three fundamental hypotheses with data drawn from examination of 6,408 cases involving some 19,224 separate judicial votes during the 1995-2004 period. First, in ideologically-contested controversial cases, can voting "tendencies" be predicted based on the party of the appointing president? Next, does "ideological dampening" -- that is, the presence of two judges of a different political party on the panel -- influence a third judge of a different party? Finally, is there "ideological amplification" of judicial attitudes if all three judges on a panel are of the same party, so that more extreme positions are taken than with a mixed panel?

The authors find that all three of these hypotheses are supported in a wide range of cases involving 13 issues such as campaign finance, sexual discrimination, and commercial speech.
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Format: Hardcover
The review/summary by Ronald H. Clark here would be hard to add to or improve on, it is exceptionally intelligent. This book is very good and important. Anyone interested in our court system should read it and every library should have a copy. One of the professional reviews here is by the director of the Judicial Evaluation Institute, this has been called a front group for the Chamber of Commerce. They go all over the country trying to influence the election of judges, including State Supreme Court Justices. Given what is happening with the open seat on the Supreme Court now, this book is especially relevant. I recommend this book highly as well as Mr. Clark's review. Cass Sunstein has authored a number of very good books.

Good books and other information on Law here:

mwir-law.blogspot.com/
Midwest Independent Research
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