Making Law in the United States Courts of Appeals

Making Law in the United States Courts of Appeals

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David E. Klein
Cambridge University Press, 8/8/2002
EAN 9780521891455, ISBN10: 0521891450

Paperback, 192 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.1 cm
Language: English

The book, first published in 2002, examines circuit court decision making on issues not clearly covered by existing precedents. Its central questions are to what extent circuit judges' choices to adopt legal rules are influenced by the actions of other circuit judges and whether judges attempt to decide legal issues as they think the Supreme Court would in their place. Evidence comes from quantitative analyses of several hundred cases and from interviews with two dozen circuit court judges. The evidence indicates that judges give attention to the work of colleagues on their own court and other circuits and that the actions, prestige, and expertise of these colleagues are important. On the other hand, while Supreme Court precedents factor heavily in the circuit judges' decisions, expectations as to how the Supreme Court might decide appear to have little effect on their actions. These findings suggest that legal and policy goals influence judges' decision-making.

1. Lawmaking in a hierarchical judicial system
2. Theory and hypotheses
3. The cases
4. Influences on circuit judges' responses
case evidence
5. Influences on circuit judges' responses
interview evidence
6. Anticipating the Supreme Court
7. Implications and future directions.

"...this book has important things to say about the nature of the judicial process and how we understand the role of law in our legal system. It is one of the more important books on law and courts that has been written in recent years and should qualify as a must-read for all scholars in the law and courts community." Journal of Politics "Klein's book is one of the best systematic examinations of behavior on the U.S. Courts of Appeals to be produced and it is bound to make a substantial impact on the discipline." The Law and Politics Book Review "'Outstanding' and 'path breaking' are overused words; nonetheless they accurately describe this book. As a blend of legal and behavioral scholarship it has no peer, a blend produced by the creation of an innovative set of rigorous measures that are certain to be adapted and employed in subsequent work." Harold J. Spaeth, Michigan State University