Coming Soon!
Political Control of America's Courts
Examining the Facts
by Helena Silverstein
January 2023, 211pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7805-3
$65, £49, 57€, A88
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7806-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

All presidents have influence over the composition and direction of the federal courts, but Donald Trump left a deep conservative mark on the federal judiciary despite only serving a single term of office, with 3 appointments to the Supreme Court, 54 to the Circuit Courts of Appeal, and 174 to the nation’s District Courts.

This work is intended to help readers understand the many ways in which politics shapes the allegedly nonpartisan judicial system in America. It reveals that political factors increasingly determine who wears the judicial robes from the Supreme Court on down.

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. Each book gives readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current high-interest issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America’s cultural and political discourse.

This volume in the series provides a deeply researched and evenhanded account of the relationship between America’s judicial branch—which is supposed to view law through a nonpartisan lens—and the sometimes poisonous partisanship in the nation’s other two branches of government. Is political combat over judicial nominations worse than ever before? What impact is the politicization of the courts having on public faith in the legitimacy of the courts and our wider political system? Was former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day right when she asserted that “judicial independence is a bedrock principle of our court system, and we are losing it”? This work will provide insights into all these questions and more.

Features

  • Features an accessible and sensibly organized question-and-answer format
  • Uses quantifiable data from authoritative sources as the foundation for examining every issue
  • Provides readers with listings of relevant sources to conduct further research
  • Provides valuable insights and information on judicial reform efforts
Helena Silverstein, PhD, is professor and department head of government and law at Lafayette College. She is author of The Supreme Court; Girls on the Stand: How Courts Fail Pregnant Minors; and Unleashing Rights: Law, Meaning, and the Animal Rights Movement. Silverstein has published research in Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Policy, Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and Law and Inequality. From 2014 to 2016, she served as director of the law and social sciences program at the National Science Foundation. She received her PhD and MA in political science from the University of Washington.

Contemporary Debates



Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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