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Law's Allure
How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves, and Kills Politics


  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521896474

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About the Authors
  • Judicial and political power are inextricably linked in America, but by the time John Roberts and Samuel Alito joined the Supreme Court, that link seemed more important, more significant, and more pervasive than ever before. From war powers to abortion, from tobacco to integration, from the environment to campaign finance, Americans increasingly turn away from the political tools of negotiation, bargaining, and persuasion to embrace what they have come to believe is a more effective, more efficient, and even more just world of formal rules, automated procedures, litigation, and judicial decision-making. Using more than ten controversial policy case studies, Law's Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves, and Kills Politics draws a roadmap to help politicians, litigators, judges, policy advocates, and those who study them understand the motives and incentives that encourage efforts to legalize, formalize, and judicialize the political process and American public policy, as well as the risks and rewards these choices can generate.

    • Unlike competing books, Law's Allure treats how all three branches INTERACT and how the choices made by one shape and constrain choices made by others
    • Examines how and why precedent shapes current debate, making some options more likely and other options less likely
    • Explains how and why it is that American politics and public debate have become increasingly dependent upon law and judicial decision-making
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521896474
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: law's allure and American politics
    Part I. Law's Allure: Why, and Why Now, and Why it Matters:
    1. Law's allure: motives, incentives, patterns, and process
    2. Why now? The expansion and acceleration of law's allure
    3. Why it matters: law is different - a theory of precedent
    Part II. Law's Allure: Patterns, Process, and Cautionary Tales:
    4. Poverty and abortion: the risks and rewards of a judicial strategy
    5. Environmental regulation: a constructive process
    6. Campaign finance: a de-constructive process
    7. When the court says yes - and no: the special prosecutor, budget control, and line item vetoes
    8. When the court is reluctant to intervene: war powers
    Part III. Law's Allure: Costs and Consequences:
    9. Tobacco: the promise and peril of law's allure
    Conclusion: law's allure and American politics: for better - and worse.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Administrative Law
    • Adv. Con Law: Law & Social Change
    • Civil Liberties in National Emergencies
    • Constitutional Interpretation
    • Criminal Justice Process and Policy
    • Introduction to Law
    • Introduction to Law and Politics
    • Law & Social Movements
    • Law and Popular Cultire
    • Law and Public Policy
    • Law, Courts and Public Policy
    • Political Action in America
  • Author

    Gordon Silverstein, Yale Law School
    Gordon Silverstein is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. A former journalist with a PhD from Harvard University, Massachusetts, Professor Silverstein also has taught at Rice University, Houston, Dartmouth College, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, and the University of Minnesota. Silverstein has written a number of articles and book chapters on American politics, the separation of powers, and judicial power in comparative perspective and is the author of Imbalance of Powers: Constitutional Interpretation and the Making of American Foreign Policy (1996).

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