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The Nature of Supreme Court Power (Paperback)
  • The Nature of Supreme Court Power (Paperback)

The Nature of Supreme Court Power (Paperback)

Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 12/09/2013
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Few institutions in the world are credited with initiating and confounding political change on the scale of the United States Supreme Court. The Court is uniquely positioned to enhance or inhibit political reform, enshrine or dismantle social inequalities, and expand or suppress individual rights. Yet despite claims of victory from judicial activists and complaints of undemocratic lawmaking from the Court's critics, numerous studies of the Court assert that it wields little real power. This book examines the nature of Supreme Court power by identifying conditions under which the Court is successful at altering the behavior of state and private actors. Employing a series of longitudinal studies that use quantitative measures of behavior outcomes across a wide range of issue areas, it develops and supports a new theory of Supreme Court power.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107617827
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm

"Matthew Hall's The Nature of Supreme Court Power is must reading for scholars and students interested in the impact of Supreme Court decisions and American politics generally. By carefully focusing attention on behavior in society a decision could be expected to change, Hall articulates vertical and lateral contingencies that condition the Court's influence, and alerts us to the important role of an issue's public popularity. He makes a convincing case for when we should and should not find Supreme Court influence, and backs this up with careful empirical support. His findings that the Court is not all-powerful but strikingly powerful under certain conditions will figure prominently in the important debate about the power of that institution." -Paul Brace, Rice University
"This is the best treatment of the nature of Supreme Court power since Gerald Rosenberg's The Hollow Hope, and it paints a very different picture. Hall's elegant argument is likely to unsettle a number of widespread scholarly assumptions about the Court." -Thomas M. Keck, Syracuse University
"The Nature of Supreme Court Power is one of the most important contributions to our understanding of the power of courts in the last three decades. Hall convincingly argues that judicial power to affect the behavior of state and private actors depends on more than the law itself. His careful analysis demonstrates the importance of institutional context and popular sentiment as well as lower court's capacity to implement decisions. This terrific book will be of interest to seasoned scholars and court watchers interested in the interplay of law and politics." -Laura Beth Nielsen, American Bar Foundation and Northwestern University
"In this engaging book, Hall challenges much conventional wisdom about the limits of judicial power. Ranging widely over controversial Supreme Court decisions of the last 50 years, Hall's argument may give pause to judicial power skeptics. Well-researched and clearly argued, The Nature of Supreme Court Power deserves to be widely read and taught." -Gerald N. Rosenberg, University of Chicago
"Matthew Hall's The Nature of the Supreme Court Power is a significant contribution...Hall writes in a craftsman-like fashion producing a highly readable volume...The book stimulates a wide variety of unanswered substantive and theoretical questions and will undoubtedly encourage additional research efforts"- Thomas G. Walker, Emory University, American Review of Politics

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