The Power of Precedent

Author: Michael J. Gerhardt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199795797
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
The role that precedent plays in constitutional decision making is a perennially divisive subject among scholars of law and American politics. The debate rages over both empirical and normative aspects of the issue: To what extent are the Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch constrained by precedent? To what extent should they be? Taking up a topic long overdue for comprehensive treatment, Michael Gerhardt connects the vast social science data and legal scholarship to provide the most wide-ranging assessment of precedent in several decades. Updated to reflect recent legal cases, The Power of Precedent clearly outlines the major issues in the continuing debates on the significance of precedent and evenly considers all sides. For the Supreme Court, precedents take many forms, including not only the Court's past opinions, but also norms, historical practices, and traditions that the justices have deliberately chosen to follow. In these forms, precedent exerts more force than is commonly acknowledged. This force is encapsulated in the implementation and recognition of what Gerhardt calls the "golden rule of precedent," a major dynamic in constitutional law. The rule calls upon justices and other public authorities to recognize that since they expect others to respect their own precedents, they must provide the same respect to others' precedents. Gerhardt's extensive exploration of precedent leads him to formulate a more expansive definition of it, one that encompasses not only the prior constitutional decisions of courts but also the constitutional judgments of other public authorities. Gerhardt concludes his study by looking at what the future holds for the concept, as he examines the decisions and attitudes toward precedent exhibited by the shift from the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court. Authoritative and incisive, Gerhardt presents an in-depth look at this central yet understudied phenomenon at the core of all constitutional conflicts and one of undeniable importance to American law and politics. Ultimately, The Power of Precedent vividly illustrates how constitutional law is made and evolves both in and outside of the courts.

Interpreting Precedents

Author: D. Neil MacCormick
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351926446
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
This book contains a series of essays discussing the uses of precedent as a source of law and a basis for legal arguments in nine different legal systems, representing a variety of legal traditions. Precedent is fundamental to law, yet theoretical and ideological as well as legal considerations lead to its being differently handled and rationalised in different places. Out of the comparative study come the six theoretical and synoptic essays that conclude the volume.

The Power of Precedent

Author: Michael J. Gerhardt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199795797
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The role that precedent plays in constitutional decision making is a perennially divisive subject among scholars of law and American politics. The debate rages over both empirical and normative aspects of the issue: To what extent are the Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch constrained by precedent? To what extent should they be? Taking up a topic long overdue for comprehensive treatment, Michael Gerhardt connects the vast social science data and legal scholarship to provide the most wide-ranging assessment of precedent in several decades. Updated to reflect recent legal cases, The Power of Precedent clearly outlines the major issues in the continuing debates on the significance of precedent and evenly considers all sides. For the Supreme Court, precedents take many forms, including not only the Court's past opinions, but also norms, historical practices, and traditions that the justices have deliberately chosen to follow. In these forms, precedent exerts more force than is commonly acknowledged. This force is encapsulated in the implementation and recognition of what Gerhardt calls the "golden rule of precedent," a major dynamic in constitutional law. The rule calls upon justices and other public authorities to recognize that since they expect others to respect their own precedents, they must provide the same respect to others' precedents. Gerhardt's extensive exploration of precedent leads him to formulate a more expansive definition of it, one that encompasses not only the prior constitutional decisions of courts but also the constitutional judgments of other public authorities. Gerhardt concludes his study by looking at what the future holds for the concept, as he examines the decisions and attitudes toward precedent exhibited by the shift from the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court. Authoritative and incisive, Gerhardt presents an in-depth look at this central yet understudied phenomenon at the core of all constitutional conflicts and one of undeniable importance to American law and politics. Ultimately, The Power of Precedent vividly illustrates how constitutional law is made and evolves both in and outside of the courts.

The Court and the World

Author: Stephen Breyer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101912073
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
"In this original, far-reaching, and timely book, Justice Stephen Breyer examines the work of the Supreme Court of the United States in an increasingly interconnected world, a world in which all sorts of activity, both public and private--from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade--obliges the Court to understand and consider circumstances beyond America's borders. It is a world of instant communications, lightning-fast commerce, and shared problems (like public health threats and environmental degradation), and it is one in which the lives of Americans are routinely linked ever more pervasively to those of people in foreign lands. Indeed, at a moment when anyone may engage in direct transactions internationally for services previously bought and sold only locally (lodging, for instance, through online sites), it has become clear that, even in ordinary matters, judicial awareness can no longer stop at the water's edge. To trace how foreign considerations have come to inform the thinking of the Court, Justice Breyer begins with that area of the law in which they have always figured prominently: national security in its constitutional dimension--how should the Court balance this imperative with others, chiefly the protection of basic liberties, in its review of presidential and congressional actions? He goes on to show that as the world has grown steadily "smaller," the Court's horizons have inevitably expanded: it has been obliged to consider a great many more matters that now cross borders. What is the geographical reach of an American statute concerning, say, securities fraud, antitrust violations, or copyright protections? And in deciding such matters, can the Court interpret American laws so that they might work more efficiently with similar laws in other nations? While Americans must necessarily determine their own laws through democratic process, increasingly, the smooth operation of American law--and, by extension, the advancement of American interests and values--depends on its working in harmony with that of other jurisdictions. Justice Breyer describes how the aim of cultivating such harmony, as well as the expansion of the rule of law overall, with its attendant benefits, has drawn American jurists into the relatively new role of "constitutional diplomats," a little remarked but increasingly important job for them in this fast-changing world."--Publisher's description.

Precedent in the United States Supreme Court

Author: Christopher J. Peters
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400779518
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This volume presents a variety of both normative and descriptive perspectives on the use of precedent by the United States Supreme Court. It brings together a diverse group of American legal scholars, some of whom have been influenced by the Segal/Spaeth "attitudinal" model and some of whom have not. The group of contributors includes legal theorists and empiricists, constitutional lawyers and legal generalists, leading authorities and up-and-coming scholars. The book addresses questions such as how the Court establishes durable precedent, how the Court decides to overrule precedent, the effects of precedent on case selection, the scope of constitutional precedent, the influence of concurrences and dissents, and the normative foundations of constitutional precedent. Most of these questions have been addressed by the Court itself only obliquely, if at all. The volume will be valuable to readers both in the United States and abroad, particularly in light of ongoing debates over the role of precedent in civil-law nations and emerging legal systems.

An Introduction to the American Legal System

Author: John M. Scheb
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9780766827592
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
"An Introduction to the American Legal System" is ideal for undergraduate students in legal studies, political science, criminal justice, pre-law, and sociology programs, paralegal programs, as well as for anyone with an interest in the historical and contemporary approaches to law in America.