Ethics and Accountability on the US Supreme Court: An Analysis of Recusal Practices

SUNY Press
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 Examines the causes and consequences of recusal behavior on the US Supreme Court.
Do US Supreme Court justices withdraw from cases when they are supposed to? What happens when the Court is down a member? In Ethics and Accountability on the US Supreme Court, Robert J. Hume provides the first comprehensive examination of the causes and consequences of recusal behavior on the Supreme Court. Using original data, and with rich attention to historical detail including media commentary about recusals, he systematically analyzes the factors that influence Supreme Court recusal, a process which has so far been shrouded in secrecy. It is revealed that justices do not strictly follow the recusal guidelines set by Congress, but at the same time they do not ignore these rules. Overall, justices are selective in their compliance with the recusal statute, balancing ethical considerations against other institutional and policy goals, such as the duty to sit. However, the book also concludes that the impact of recusals on policymaking is more limited than commentators have claimed, raising questions about whether ethics reform is really needed at this time.
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About the author

 Robert J. Hume is Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. He is the author of Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States and How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Nov 21, 2017
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Pages
204
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ISBN
9781438466989
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / Judicial Branch
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jeffrey Toobin
From the prizewinning author of The Nine, a gripping insider's account of the momentous ideological war between the John Roberts Supreme Court and the Obama administration.

From the moment John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, blundered through the Oath of Office at Barack Obama's inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been confrontational. Both men are young, brilliant, charismatic, charming, determined to change the course of the nation—and completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue. One is radical; one essentially conservative. The surprise is that Obama is the conservative—a believer in incremental change, compromise, and pragmatism over ideology. Roberts—and his allies on the Court—seek to overturn decades of precedent: in short, to undo the ultimate victory FDR achieved in the New Deal.
   This ideological war will crescendo during the 2011-2012 term, in which several landmark cases are on the Court's docket—most crucially, a challenge to Obama's controversial health-care legislation. With four new justices joining the Court in just five years, including Obama's appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, this is a dramatically—and historically—different Supreme Court, playing for the highest of stakes.
   No one is better positioned to chronicle this dramatic tale than Jeffrey Toobin, whose prize-winning bestseller The Nine laid bare the inner workings and conflicts of the Court in meticulous and entertaining detail. As the nation prepares to vote for President in 2012, the future of the Supreme Court will also be on the ballot.
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