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Political regimes and the future of the First Amendment

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

Fifty years ago the political scientist Robert Dahl concluded that courts are usually in sync with “the policy views dominant among the lawmaking majorities” and thus offer little help to aggrieved minorities (Dahl, 1957, p. 285). In recent years, Dahl's classic formulation has received renewed attention. This chapter uses the example of the Rehnquist Court's First Amendment decisions to analyze “regime politics” theory. On religion cases the Rehnquist Court was generally in sync with the socially conservative strain in the Republican Party, but in other First Amendment areas the pattern is far more complex, raising questions about the relationship between conservative judges and the political movements that brought them to office.

Citation

Burke, T.F. (2008), "Political regimes and the future of the First Amendment", 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. 107-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(08)00804-1

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited