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Vol 22 No 9 Sept/Oct 2017

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Corruption and Misuse of Public Office

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The Supreme Court and the Development of Law: Through the Prism of Prisoners' Rights


ISBN13: 9781137567628
Published: September 2016
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £66.99



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This book illuminates the decision-making processes of the US Supreme court through an examination of several prisoners' rights cases. In 1964, the Supreme Court declined to hear prisoners' claims about religious freedom. In 2014, the Supreme Court heard a case that led to the justices' unanimous endorsement of a Muslim prisoner's religious right to grow a beard despite objections from prison officials. In the fifty-year span between those two events, the Supreme Court developed the law concerning rights for imprisoned offenders. As demonstrated in this book, the factors that shape Supreme Court decision making are well-illustrated by prisoners' rights cases. This area of law illuminates competing approaches to constitutional interpretation, behind-the-scenes interactions among the justices, and the manipulation of legal precedents. External actors also affect the Supreme Court and its decisions when the president appoints new justices and Congress targets the judiciary with legislative enactments. Because of the controversial nature of prisoners' rights issues, these cases serve to illuminate the full array of influences over Supreme Court decision making.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
1. Shaping Constitutional Law: The Example of Prisoners' Rights
2. Pioneering Litigation: Black Muslims as an Assertive Political Minority
3. The Expansion and Contraction of Rights: Through the Eyes of Justice Marshall
4. A Protective Constitutional Vision: Justice Stevens and the Principles of Liberty
5. A Rejectionist Constitutional Vision: Justice Thomas and Originalist Arguments
6. The Pragmatic Middle and Its Consequences: The Influence of Justice O'Connor
7. Strategic Interaction: Persuasion and Accommodation in Opinion Writing
8. Redefinition of Precedent: The Influence of Justice Scalia
9. Reaction and Retrenchment