American Judicial Process
Myth and Reality in Law and Courts
Routledge – 2014 – 336 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. Specifically, they discuss each component of the judicial process in terms of justice. How do the structure and processes of American law and courts further or inhibit justice? Could justice be better served by changes to existing practices? Toward that end, the authors take an innovative approach to the topic. Grounding their presentation in empirical social science terms, they incorporate three unique elements of a "myth vs reality" framework into each of the topical chapters on the major structures of the American legal process:
1) "Pop culture" boxes that provide students with popular examples from film, television, and music that tie-in to chapter topics and engage student interest
2) brief excerpts from scholarly research on each topic in order to demonstrate how social science answers the pressing questions under consideration
3) "How Do We Know?" boxes at the end of each chapter 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. The key take-away is that judges are political actors situated in a separation of powers system. In addition, a rich companion website will include PowerPoint lectures, an instructor’s manual, and a test bank of objective questions for use by instructors. Students will have access to relevant weblinks, key objectives from each chapter, flash cards of key terms, and practice quizzes.
1. Politics and Justice in the Judicial Process 2. The Legal Profession: Legal Education and Law School 3. The Legal Profession: Lawyers and Law Practice 4. Organization of Courts 5. Choosing Judges 6. Civil Procedure 7. Criminal Procedure 8. Trials 9. Appeals 10. Judicial Decision Making 11. Implementation and Impact
Pamela C. Corley is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. She received her Ph.D. and J.D. from Georgia State University. She is the author of Concurring Opinion Writing on the U.S. Supreme Court and her articles have appeared in such journals as The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Judicature, and The Justice System Journal.
Artemus Ward is associate professor of political science at Northern Illinois University. He received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University and was a Congressional Fellow serving on the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC. His books include Deciding to Leave: The Politics of Retirement from the United States Supreme Court and Sorcerers’ Apprentices: 100 Years of Law Clerks at the United States Supreme Court. His articles have appeared in such journals as Political Analysis, Congress & the Presidency, White House Studies, Justice System Journal and the Journal of Supreme Court History (for which he was awarded the Hughes-Gossett Prize by the Supreme Court Historical Society).
Wendy L. Martinek is associate professor of political science at Binghamton University. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is a past program director for the Law and Social Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation. She is the author (with Virginia A. Hettinger and Stefanie A. Lindquist) of Judging on a Collegial Court. Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of Politics, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Law and Society Review, Party Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly.