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Judicial Process in America

Judicial Process in America

Eleventh Edition

Other Titles in:
Law & Courts

February 2019 | 592 pages | CQ Press

Known for shedding light on the link between the courts, public policy, and the political environment, Judicial Process in America offers students a clear but comprehensive overview of today’s American judiciary. Considering the courts from every level, the authors thoroughly cover judges, lawyers, litigants, and the variables at play in judicial decision-making. The highly anticipated Eleventh Edition offers updated coverage of recent Supreme Court rulings, including same-sex marriage and health care subsidies; the effect of three women justices on the Court's patterns of decision; and the policy-making role of state tribunals as they consider an increasing number of state programs and policies.

New to this Edition

  • Discussions of recent judicial appointments take a critical look at how President Trump’s victory has set the stage for moving the ideological direction of the Supreme Court and of the lower federal judiciary in a distinctly more conservative direction.  
  • An analysis of recent controversial Supreme Court decisions help students to identify with the content by exploring issues such as, citizenship rights for immigrants, gay and lesbian rights, and freedom of speech and religion.
  • Additional tables and graphs illustrate the patterns and trends that are occurring in today’s judicial process.
  • New coverage of current topics help students see how the judicial process is applied. These topics include:
    • the legality of Congress’ feeble attempts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act that affects millions of people; 
    • how to address the issues of immigration and deportations, including what to do about so-called Dreamers (children brought illegally to the United States by their parents without the children’s knowledge and who have spent much or all of their lives here); 
    • the status of abortion rights in America as more and more conservative states have sought to further restrict a woman’s right to such a procedure; 
    • the legal status of transgender persons in the armed forces; 
    • the degree to which severely gerrymandered legislative districts pass constitutional muster; and
    • the great changes in the issue of same-sex marriage, both among average Americans and within the state and federal court systems (including all the ancillary issues such as whether same-sex couples can adopt children and obtain government fringe benefits).
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Foundations of Law in the United States
Definition of Law

Sources of Law in the United States

Types of Law

Functions of Law

The United States and the Rule of Law

A Litigious Society

Chapter 2. The Federal Judicial System
The Historical Context

The U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Courts of Appeals

U.S. District Courts

Constitutional Courts, Legislative Courts, and Courts of Specialized Jurisdiction

Administrative and Staff Support in the Federal Judiciary

Federal Court Workload

Chapter 3. State Judicial Systems
Historical Development of State Courts

State Court Organization

Norm Enforcement in the State Courts

The Courtroom Work Group

Administrative Hearings in the States

Policymaking in the State Courts

Innovation in State Courts

Administrative and Staff Support in the State Judiciary

State Court Workload

Chapter 4. Jurisdiction and Policymaking Boundaries
Federal Courts

Jurisdiction of State Courts

Jurisdiction and Legislative Politics

Judicial Self-Restraint

Chapter 5. State Judges
Qualifications and Backgrounds of State Judges

The Selection Process for State Judges

The Retirement and Removal of State Judges

Judicial Independence and State Courts

Chapter 6. Federal Judges
Background Characteristics of Federal Judges

Formal and Informal Qualifications of Federal Judges

The Federal Selection Process and Its Participants

The Judicial Socialization Process

The Retirement and Removal of Judges

Chapter 7. Policy Links among the Citizenry, the President, and the Federal Judiciary
The President and the Composition of the Judiciary

Presidents’ Values and Their Appointees’ Decisions

Chapter 8. Lawyers, Litigants, and Interest Groups in the Judicial Process
Lawyers and the Legal Profession


Interest Groups in the Judicial Process

Chapter 9. Crime and Procedures prior to a Criminal Trial
The Nature and Substance of Crime

Categories of Crime

Elements of a Crime

Procedures prior to a Criminal Trial

Chapter 10. The Criminal Trial and Its Aftermath
Procedures during a Criminal Trial

Procedures after a Criminal Trial

Chapter 11. The Civil Court Process
The Nature and Substance of Civil Law

The Courts and Other Institutions Concerned with Civil Law

The Civil Trial Process

Chapter 12. Decision Making by Trial Court Judges
The Legal Subculture

The Democratic Subculture

The Subcultures as Predictors

Chapter 13. Decision Making in Collegial Courts
Cue Theory

Small-Group Analysis

Attitude Theory

Rational Choice Theory

Practical Applications of These Four Approaches

Chapter 14. Implementation and Impact of Judicial Policies
The Impact of Higher Court Decisions on Lower Courts

Congressional Influences on the Implementation Process

Executive Branch Influences on the Implementation Process

Other Implementers

The Impact of Judicial Policies

Chapter 15. Policymaking by American Judges: A Synthesis
The Nature of the Case or Issue

The Values and Orientations of the Judges

The Nature of the Judicial Decision-Making Process

The Impact of Extraneous Influences

Appendix: Annotated Constitution
Case Index
Subject Index
About the Authors

“Carp, et. al. have written an introductory text that includes the most recent literature on the judicial politics but do so in a manner that is accessible to students of various backgrounds and knowledge. It is the best textbook for an introductory judicial politics course so that students can learn how the courts at all levels do their work and impact politics and public policy.”

John Aughenbaugh
Virginia Commonwealth University

“The text provides a comprehensive introduction to—and survey of—the study of courts, judges, and the American legal process. Written by several widely respected scholars in the field, the text provides extensive coverage of how courts and judges operate and how they relate to the broader society of which they are a part. Accessible even to those students who are new to the study of courts and law while also providing a nuanced and sophisticated view of the state of research in the field, the text is regarded as a leader in the field and as a useful addition to the library of the novice and the expert alike.”

John Forren
Miami University–Hamilton

“I have been assigning this text for more than 10 years. It is an outstanding textbook to introduce students to the judicial process.”

Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan
University of South Florida St Petersburg

“This text provides a terrific overview of the legal system – which is my main reason for using it. I also like the Suggested Resources…” 

Rebecca Keeler
East Tennessee State University

“I would describe it as a very straightforward approach to providing thorough descriptions to many of the main and important topics of the U.S. legal system.  It goes into great depth for important topics and it also covers a wide variety of topics. It’s physical size is also nice in that it is not a humongous sized textbook, rather it is easy to use and navigate because the layout of the chapters are easy to understand and nicely divided…”

Justin Wedeking
University of Kentucky

“I like the book. I like the length and the writing style. It focuses on important information and provides a good source of information on basic structure and procedure. The book is readable, the chapters fairly short and students tell me they like the book and find it a helpful companion to lectures…”

Kim Seckler
New Mexico State University

“I have been using this text for 20 years.  I most like, and use, the chapters that examine state and federal courts, judges, the groups in the judicial process, and the procedures and prior to, during, and after a trial. These chapters are clearly written and lay out the facts in a well-organized, accessible manner…”

Diane Hartmus
Oakland University

“I would say that it is a thoughtful and comprehensive introduction to the judicial institutions, norms, and practices of the United States, with enough detail to carry an undergraduate course or to set up expanded discussions of selected topics.”

Luke Plotica
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

“I would describe this book as a political perspective on the American court system. It encourages readers to think about courts as government organizations and approach their study as one would other political institutions.”

Robert Norris
Appalachian State University

“This book is a well-written, thorough coverage of the judicial process in the United States.  It is thorough, without being pedantic.  If one is looking to answer a question about how the judicial process should work in the United States, the answer is either in this book or provides the guide to where one should look.  In addition to being readable, the book provides references to the scholarly literature that students need to begin a more in-depth analysis of topics in which they are interested.”

Joseph Stewart
Clemson University