American Judicial Process
Myth and Reality in Law and Courts
Routledge – 2016 – 368 pages
This text is a general introduction to American judicial process. The authors cover the major institutions, actors, and processes that comprise the U.S. legal system, viewed from a political science perspective. Grounding their presentation in empirical social science terms, the authors identify popular myths about the structure and processes of American law and courts and then contrast those myths with what really takes place. Three unique elements of this "myth versus reality" framework are incorporated into each of the topical chapters:
1) "Myth versus Reality" boxes that lay out the topics each chapter covers, using the myths about each topic contrasted with the corresponding realities
2) "Pop Culture" boxes that provide students with popular examples from film, television, and music that tie-in to chapter topics and engage student interest
3) "How Do We Know?" boxes that discuss the methods of social scientific inquiry and debunk common myths about the judiciary and legal system.
Unlike other textbooks, American Judicial Process emphasizes how pop culture portrays—and often distorts—the judicial process and how social science research is brought to bear to provide an accurate picture of law and courts. In addition, a rich companion website will include PowerPoint lectures, suggested topics for papers and projects, a test bank of objective questions for use by instructors, and downloadable artwork from the book. Students will have access to annotated web links and videos, flash cards of key terms, and a glossary.
"American Judicial Process is a game changer. Instead of relegating empirical evidence to the footnotes, this book challenges students to consider how we know what we know. The political science is front and center, but the masterful integration of examples from popular culture makes this anything but a dull read. Corley, Martinek, and Ward are a dream team for this kind of project. They have struck the perfect balance between wit and wisdom. This book challenges the popular conception of the American system of law and courts with a balanced—but never boring—reality check."
—Rebecca D. Gill, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1. Myth and Reality in the Judicial Process 2. Thinking Like a Lawyer: Legal Education and Law School 3. The Legal Profession: Lawyers and the Practice of Law 4. Organization of Courts 5. Choosing Judges 6. Civil Law 7. Criminal Law 8. Trials 9. Appeals 10. The Supreme Court 11. Implementation and Impact
Pamela C. Corley is currently Associate Professor and Director of the Law and Legal Reasoning Minor in the Political Science Department at Southern Methodist University, where she teaches classes on judicial process, civil rights, First Amendment, criminal procedure, and jurisprudence. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University.
Artemus Ward is currently Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches classes in public law, and American politics. He received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University and was formerly a staffer on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Wendy Martinek is currently Associate Professor of Political Science, where she teaches classes in constitutional law, judicial politics, and political methodology. She received her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and was formerly a program officer for the Law and Social Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation.