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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Crafting Law on the Supreme Court: The Collegial Game

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Forrest MaltzmanGeorge Washington University, Washington DC, James F. Spriggs, Paul J. WahlbeckGeorge Washington University, Washington DC, James F. Spriggs IIUniversity of California, Davis

ISBN13: 9780521780100
ISBN: 0521780101
Published: October 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £43.99

Despatched in 7 to 9 days.

Material is gleaned from internal memos circulated among justices on the Supreme Court to systematically account for the building of majority opinions. The authors argue that at the heart of this process are policy-seeking justices who are constrained by the choices made by the other justices. By strategically using threats, signals, and persuasion, justices attempt to influence the behavior of their colleagues on the bench. Evidence derived from the recently released papers of justices Brennan, Douglas, Marshall, and Powell is used to test the authors' theory of opinion writing. The portrait of the Supreme Court that emerges stands in sharp contrast to the conventional portrait where justices act solely on the basis of the law or their personal policy preferences. This book provides a fascinating glimpse of how the Court crafts the law.

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Other Jurisdictions , USA
1. Introduction; 2. Selecting an author: assigning the majority opinion; 3. A strategic response to draft opinions; 4. The decision to accommodate; 5. The politics of coalition formation; 6. Conclusion.