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Understanding the impact and visibility of ideological change on the supreme court

Special Issue Constitutional Politics in a Conservative Era

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1486-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-562-8

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 6 May 2008

Abstract

This chapter offers an explanation for the mixed record of the Supreme Court since the 1960s, and considers the implications of that record for the future. The chapter emphasizes that judicial power is connected to choices made by other political actors. We argue that conventional ways of measuring the impact of Court rulings and the Court's treatment of precedents are misleading. The Court cannot be understood as a counter-majoritarian protector of rights. In both past and future, electoral outcomes determine the policy areas in which the Court will be influential, and also the choices the justices make about how to portray their treatment of law and precedents.

Citation

Lemieux, S.E. and Lovell, G.I. (2008), "Understanding the impact and visibility of ideological change on the supreme court", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Special Issue Constitutional Politics in a Conservative Era (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 44), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(08)00801-6

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited