The Supreme Court and Legal Change

Author: Lee Epstein
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807861294
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The authors analyze abortion and death penalty decisions by the Supreme Court and argue that they provide prime examples of abrupt legal change. After proposing that the strength of legal arguments has at least as much impact on Court decisions as do public opinion and justices' political beliefs, they focus on the way litigators propel certain issues onto the Court's agenda and seek to persuade the justices to affect legal change.

Out of the Closets and into the Courts

Author: Ellen Ann Andersen
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472021574
Format: PDF
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Over the past 30 years, the gay rights movement has moved from the margins to the center of American politics, sparking debate from bedroom to boardroom to battlefield. Out of the Closets and into the Courts analyzes recent gay rights cases and explores the complex relationship between litigation and social change. “An excellent book, enlightening and well-written. Out of the Closets and into the Courts should be highly useful in the classroom and of interest to a broad audience.” --Evan Gerstmann, Loyola Marymount University “A detailed historical analysis of changes in the law surrounding gay and lesbian relationships, Out of the Closets and into the Courts also breaks fresh ground in thinking about how and when law can be used to affect social change. The concept of a legal opportunity structure, which complements the concept of political opportunity structure, proves to be very useful in analyzing judicial changes in the law. A very impressive analysis.” --Mayer Zald, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan “Ellen Andersen's book integrates sophisticated sociolegal theory and thorough empirical research into a compelling, insightful analysis of legal mobilization campaigns led by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. This study makes a significant contribution to scholarship about struggles over gay rights in the U.S. and about legal reform politics in general.” --Michael McCann, University of Washington Ellen Ann Andersen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Capital Punishment

Author: C. Cliff
Publisher: Nova Publishers
ISBN: 9781590335314
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The issue of capital punishment is a continually-debated issue because it calls into question the values and direction of society. How is a civilisation supposed to handle lawbreakers? Are some crimes so heinous and some people so dangerous that the death penalty is the only appropriate response? The United States Constitution prohibits 'cruel and unusual punishment', but opinions on whether that includes capital punishment are vehement on both sides. Many states have some form of death penalty, and public opinion seems to indicate support of it in principle. However, many firestorms have erupted recently over the application of the penalty, including the topics of its use on minors and those with mental disabilities. There are also questions raised about how much of a factor race plays in a capital sentence. Internationally, several countries have foresworn the death penalty, with certain countries in Europe and the Americas refusing to extradite criminal suspects (including suspected terrorists) to the US if capital punishment is a possible sentence. With such politically flammable and ethically challenging issues hanging over it, capital punishment is a vitally important issue t