Eric Segall, professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law for two decades, explains why this third branch of the national government is an institution that makes important judgments about fundamental questions based on the Justices' ideological preferences, not the law. A complete understanding of the true nature of the Court's decision-making process is necessary, he argues, before an intelligent debate over who should serve on the Court—and how they should resolve cases—can be held. Addressing front-page areas of constitutional law such as health care, abortion, affirmative action, gun control, and freedom of religion, this book offers a frank description of how the Supreme Court truly operates, a critique of life tenure of its Justices, and a set of proposals aimed at making the Court function more transparently to further the goals of our representative democracy.
In the text the author provides, for the first time, a comprehensive review of case law principles in non-technical terms that are central to today's personnel management and decision-making: First Amendment freedoms, procedural due process, equal protection of the laws with respect to anti-discrimination, affirmative action, and compensation, and governmental and official liability. The author concludes that although excessive legalism may undoubtedly cause administrative timidity, a constitutionally competent administrator should be able to overcome this timidity; more important, a democratic administration grounded in constitutional values promises the best of all possible alternatives. This book is an invaluable addition to education and training for the students of public administration, as well as public administration practitioners at all levels in the United States. It also provides an important insight for the scholars of public administration in other parts of the world.