The book probes these sources by analyzing three issues on which the relative positions of liberal and conservative justices changed between 1910 and 2013: freedom of expression, criminal justice, and government "takings" of property. Analyzing the Court's decisions and other developments during that period, Baum finds that the values underlying liberalism and conservatism help to explain these changes, but that justices' attitudes toward social and political groups also played a powerful role.
Providing a new perspective on how ideology functions in Supreme Court decision making, Ideology in the Supreme Court has important implications for how we think about the Court and its justices.
Sit back and enjoy a collection of verbatim exchanges from the halls of justice, where defendants and plaintiffs, lawyers and witnesses, juries and judges, collide to produce memorably insane comedy.
A: You mumbled on the first part of that and I couldn't understand what you were saying. Could you repeat the question?
Q: I mumbled, did I? Well, we'll just ask the court reporter to read back what I said. She didn't indicate any problem understanding what I said, so obviously she understood every word. We'll just have her read my question back and find out if there was any mumbling going on. Madam reporter, would you be so kind?
Court Reporter: Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble.
The conventional scholarly wisdom holds that judges on higher courts seek only to make good law, good policy, or both. In these theories, judges are influenced by other people only in limited ways, in consequence of their legal and policy goals. In contrast, Baum argues that the influence of judges' audiences is pervasive. This influence derives from judges' interest in popularity and respect, a motivation central to most people. Judges care about the regard of audiences because they like that regard in itself, not just as a means to other ends. Judges and Their Audiences uses research in social psychology to make the case that audiences shape judges' choices in substantial ways. Drawing on a broad range of scholarship on judicial decision-making and an array of empirical evidence, the book then analyzes the potential and actual impact of several audiences, including the public, other branches of government, court colleagues, the legal profession, and judges' social peers.
Engagingly written, this book provides a deeper understanding of key issues concerning judicial behavior on which scholars disagree, identifies aspects of judicial behavior that diverge from the assumptions of existing models, and shows how those models can be strengthened.
In The Battle for the Court, Lawrence Baum, David Klein, and Matthew Streb present a systematic investigation into the effects of interest group involvement in the election of judges. Focusing on personal-injury law, the issue that has played the most substantial role in spurring interest group activity in judicial elections, the authors detail how interest groups mobilize in response to unfavorable rulings by state supreme courts, how their efforts influence the outcomes of supreme court elections, and how those outcomes in turn effectively reshape public policies. The authors employ several decades’ worth of new data on campaign activity, voter behavior, and judicial policy-making in one particularly colorful, important, and representative state—Ohio—to explore these connections among interest groups, elections, and judicial policy in a way that has not been possible until now.