Author: Nathaniel Persily
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-04-04
American politics is most notably characterized by the heated debates on constitutional interpretation at the core of its ever-raging culture wars, and the coverage of these lingering disputes are often inundated with public-opinion polls. Yet for all their prominence in contemporary society, there has never been an all-inclusive, systematic study of public opinion and how it impacts the courts and electoral politics. Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy is the first book to provide a comprehensive analysis of American public opinion on the key constitutional controversies of the twentieth century, including desegregation, school prayer, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, gay rights, assisted suicide, and national security, to name just a few. With essays focusing on each issue in-depth, Nathaniel Persily, Jack Citrin, Patrick Egan, and an established group of scholars utilize cutting edge public-opinion data to illustrate these contemporary debates, methodically examining each one and how public attitudes have shifted over time, especially in the wake of prominent Supreme Court decisions. More than just a compilation of available data, however, these essays join the "popular constitutionalism" debate between those who advocate a dominant role for courts in constitutional adjudication and those who prefer a more pluralized constitutional discourse. Each essay also vividly details the gap between the public and the Supreme Court on these hotly contested issues and analyzes how and why this divergence of opinion has grown or shrunk over the last fifty years. Ultimately, Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy sheds light on a major yet understudied part of American politics, providing an incisive look at the crucial part played by the voice of the people on the issues that have become an indelible part of the modern-day political landscape.
Author: Robert Y. Shapiro
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2013-05-23
Genre: Political Science
With engaging new contributions from the major figures in the fields of the media and public opinion The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media is a key point of reference for anyone working in American politics today.
Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Release Date: 2009-09-17
Rights and rights talk have a long and storied history and have occupied a crucial place in the ideology of liberal legalism. With the development of Critical Legal Studies in the 1970s and 80s, rights were subject to extensive critique. This work takes stock of the field, charts its progress and points the way for its future development.
Author: William N. Eskridge Jr.
Release Date: 2008-05-01
From the Pentagon to the wedding chapel, there are few issues more controversial today than gay rights. As William Eskridge persuasively demonstrates in Dishonorable Passions, there is nothing new about this political and legal obsession. The American colonies and the early states prohibited sodomy as the crime against nature, but rarely punished such conduct if it took place behind closed doors. By the twentieth century, America’s emerging regulatory state targeted degenerates and (later) homosexuals. The witch hunts of the McCarthy era caught very few Communists but ruined the lives of thousands of homosexuals. The nation’s sexual revolution of the 1960s fueled a social movement of people seeking repeal of sodomy laws, but it was not until the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) that private sex between consenting adults was decriminalized. With dramatic stories of both the hunted (Walt Whitman and Margaret Mead) and the hunters (Earl Warren and J. Edgar Hoover), Dishonorable Passions reveals how American sodomy laws affected the lives of both homosexual and heterosexual Americans. Certain to provoke heated debate, Dishonorable Passions is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of sexuality and its regulation in the United States
Author: Jeffrey Rosen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2006-06-19
Many critics attack federal judges as anti-democratic elitists, activists out of step with the mainstream of American thought. But others argue that judges should stand alone as the ultimate guardians of American values, placing principle before the views of the people. In The Most Democratic Branch, Jeffrey Rosen disagrees with both assertions. Contrary to what interest groups may claim, he contends that, from the days of John Marshall right up to the present, the federal courts by and large have reflected the opinions of the mainstream. More important, he argues that the Supreme Court is most successful when it defers to the constitutional views of the American people, as represented most notably by Congress and the Presidency. And on the rare occasion when they departed from the consensus, the result has often been a disaster. To illustrate, Rosen provides a penetrating look at some of the most important Supreme Court cases in American history--cases involving racial equality, affirmative action, abortion, gay rights and gay marriage, the right to die, electoral disputes, and civil liberties in wartime. Rosen shows that the most notorious constitutional decisions in American history--the ones that have been most strenuously criticized, such as Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade--have gone against mainstream opinion. By contrast, the most successful decisions--from Marbury v. Madison to Brown v. Board of Education--have avoided imposing constitutional principles over the wishes of the people. Rosen concludes that the judiciary works best when it identifies the constitutional principles accepted by a majority of Americans, and enforces them unequivocally as fundamental law. Jeffrey Rosen is one of the most respected legal experts writing today, a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and the Legal Affairs Editor of The New Republic. The provocative arguments that he puts forth here are bound to fuel heated debate at a time when the federal judiciary is already the focus of fierce criticism.
The past twenty years have witnessed a surge in behavioral studies of law and law-related issues. These studies have challenged the application of the rational-choice model to legal analysis and introduced a more accurate and empirically grounded model of human behavior. This integration of economics, psychology, and law is breaking exciting new ground in legal theory and the social sciences, shedding a new light on age-old legal questions as well as cutting edge policy issues. The Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and Law brings together leading scholars of law, psychology, and economics to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of this field of research, including its strengths and limitations as well as a forecast of its future development. Its 29 chapters organized in four parts. The first part provides a general overview of behavioral economics. The second part comprises four chapters introducing and criticizing the contribution of behavioral economics to legal theory. The third part discusses specific behavioral phenomena, their ramifications for legal policymaking, and their reflection in extant law. Finally, the fourth part analyzes the contribution of behavioral economics to fifteen legal spheres ranging from core doctrinal areas such as contracts, torts and property to areas such as taxation and antitrust policy.
An unprecedented and comprehensive account of the unique role of today's lawyer litigating in the court of public opinion. Coffey's examination of the highest profile cases in recent years teaches all of us-whether experienced lawyer or average citizen-sobering and fascinating lessons about the contemporary, multidimensional life of the law. This book is a rare...combination of autobiography, gripping journalism, legal analysis, and a how-to-manual that will fascinate both those who live to litigate such cases, as well as the many who simply cannot look away when courtroom drama spills into popular consciousness. --Nathaniel Persily, Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law and Political Science, Columbia Law School; Coeditor of Public Opinion and Constitutional ControversyKendall Coffey has walked the walk, so when he starts to talk the talk in his new book, it is well worth reading. His profound insights into some of the key cases of our time, together with tidbits from cases of the past, make this the perfect book to read. Spinning the Law provides more than just an account of key, recent trials; it serves as a handbook on the lessons of the 'Trials of the Centuries.' --Laurie L. Levenson, Professor of Law, David W. Burcham Chair of Ethical Advocacy, Loyola Law SchoolForeword by Alan Dershowitz - professor of law, Harvard Law School and author of Trials of ZionHigh-profile courtroom dramas fascinate our nation, especially when they concern the rich and famous. And while the American public has come to realize that the spin factor is a prime ingredient in political tactics and marketing campaigns, many are unaware of the strategies for shaping public opinion when it comes to major courtroom battles. This behind-the-scenes analysis of media strategies presents an intriguing, often entertaining curriculum that they do not teach in law school or journalism classes. As the lead counsel in some of the country's most notable cases and a savvy legal commentator with hundreds of television appearances, author Kendall Coffey brings a distinctive combination of depth as a legal practitioner and experience as a media analyst to this insightful, provocative, and practical book.He begins with an historic election fraud trial, relying on his personal experience with the basics of law spin. He guides the reader through an engrossing tour of spinning cases through the ages-including Socrates and Joan of Arc, as well as the Charles Lindbergh kidnapping. Modern cases include the O. J. Simpson trial, the author's own experiences in the Elian Gonzalez controversy-and his thoughts on the possible overwhelming effect that case had on Florida in the controversial 2000 presidential election. Coffey also examines some of the most famous cases of recent times, including those of Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart, Scott Peterson, Gordon Scooter Libby, and impeached former Governor Rod Blagojevich.Along the way, the author exposes many of the myths associated with the law, debunking assumptions about legal concepts ranging from circumstantial evidence and cooperating witnesses to so-called prosecutors' vendettas. Coffey's many entertaining examples and explanations make this book ideal reading for everyone fascinated by celebrity legal problems but must reading for lawyers, public relations professionals, journalists, and media students.Kendall Coffey (Miami, FL), a former U.S. Attorney who headed up the largest federal prosecutors' office in America, is the founding member of and a partner at Coffey Burlington, PL. Following his service as a U.S. Attorney, he was closely involved with the Elian Gonzalez case and the 2000 presidential election recount. A leading media commentator on high-profile cases, he has appeared on the Today show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, HLN, and numerous other nationally televised programs.
Author: Cal Clark
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2010-11-19
Genre: Political Science
This book provides an in-depth examination of public opinion in Alabama to see whether it follows the stereotype of ideological and partisan polarization in the United States. The authors show that even in such a staunchly conservative state, public opinion is considerably more nuanced and complex than this stereotype, suggesting a need to transcend the competing conservative and liberal orthodoxies.
Author: William W. Crosskey
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1980-11-01
When the first two volumes of William Crosskey's monumental study of the Constitution appeared in 1953, Arthur M. Schlesinger called it "perhaps the most fertile commentary on that document since The Federalist papers." It was highly controversial as well. The work was a comprehensive reassessment of the meaning of the Constitution, based on examination of eighteenth-century usages of key political and legal concepts and terms. Crosskey's basic thesis was that the Founding Fathers truly intended a government with plenary, nationwide powers, and not, as in the received views, a limited federalism. This third volume of Politics and the Constitution, which Crosskey began and William Jeffrey has finished, treats political activity in the period 1776-87, and is in many ways the heart of the work as Crosskey conceived it. In support of the lexicographic analysis of volumes 1 and 2, volume 3 shows that nationalist ideas and sentiments were a powerful force in American public opinion from the Revolution to the eve of the Constitutional Convention. The creation of a generally empowered national government in Philadelphia, it is argued, was the fruition of a long-active political movement, not the unintended or accidental result of a temporary conservative coalition. This view of the political background of the Constitutional Convention directly challenges the Madisonian-Jeffersonian orthodoxy on the subject. In support of his interpretation, Crosskey amassed a wealth of primary source materials, including heretofore unexplored pamphlets and newspapers. This exhaustive research makes this unique work invaluable for scholars of the period, both for the primary sources collected as well as for the provocative interpretation offered.