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Deciding to Decide: Agenda Setting in the United States Supreme Court

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0674194434
ISBN-10: 0674194438
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Editorial Reviews


Perry’s work constitutes first-class social science… In Perry’s book we have an example of systematic empirical research that is theory sensitive. (Herbert M. Kritzer Law and Social Inquiry)

Easily the most important study to date… An essential source for anyone with interests in the court’s decisional processes (which should include not only many academics, but also every lawyer facing the prospect of drafting or responding to a petition for certiorari). (Sanford Levinson Virginia Law Review)

Perry exudes the curiosity of an anthropologist as he explores the rituals and beliefs of the judicial tribe, especially its most illustrious subset, the Justices of the Supreme Court… A valuable contribution. (Stephen F. Williams Michigan Law Review)

The strength and significance of Perry’s work are that it is perhaps the most holistic and definitive attempt yet made to bring the study of law, courts, and judges into the mainstream of ongoing political science research. The genius of his volume is that this is what he sought to do, and he was done so brilliantly. (Lucius J. Barker, Stanford University)

From the Back Cover

In this unique study, H. W. Perry, Jr., takes the first hard look at the internal workings of the Supreme Court, illuminating its agenda-setting policies, procedures, and priorities as never before and vividly bringing the Court to life.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (February 8, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674194438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674194434
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rosemary A. Gordon on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perry uses extensive interviews with former clerks and Justices to gather his data on the cert. process in the United States Supreme Court. He presents the information in a very readable format that provides brings to light why some cases get heard and others don't. Ultimately he presents a decision making model that takes into consideration both the individual justices, the factors influencing cert., and the purpose of the Court. This book gives the reader a good look at the cert. process from the inside and from a non-legal perspective. It is a must read for any attorney thinking of writing a cert. petition. This book would be interesting for anyone interested in how the Supreme Court functions in our system of government.
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