The Courts in the United States

  • Kenneth M. Holland

Abstract

In most political communities, courts play a secondary role in governing. John Locke, who helped articulate the separation of powers concept for the modern world, designated the three powers of government as legislative, executive, and federative (‘the power of war and peace, leagues and alliances’).1 He spoke of the judicial function as a part of the legislative one and did not insist upon their separation. For the most part, courts have resolved disputes in accordance with rules made by other institutions. Regarding judges during the colonial period as agents of the tyranny of the British crown, the eighteenth-century authors of the state and federal constitutions envisioned a limited role for courts in the United States. Even the embodiment of the judicial dignity of the new nation, the United States Supreme Court, failed to distinguish itself during its first fifteen years. The first Chief Justice of the United States, John Jay, relinquished his unexalted post to serve as governor of New York in 1795. His successor, Oliver Ellsworth, resigned as chief justice in 1800 to become ambassador to France.2

Keywords

Europe Income Concession Karen Balance Wheel 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1980 [1690]), section 146.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Michael D. Wormser (ed.), The Supreme Court: Justice and the Law, 3rd edn (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1983), p. 21.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945 [1835]), vol.I, ch.6, p. 104.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Theodore Lowi, The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States, 2nd edn (New York: W. W. Norton, 1979).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Michael J. Perry, The Constitution, The Courts, and Human Rights: An Inquiry into the Legitimacy of Constitutional Policymaking by the Judiciary (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Arthur Selwyn Miller, Toward Increased Judicial Activism: The Political Role of the Supreme Court (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Sheldon Goldman and Thomas P. Jahnige, The Federal Courts as a Political System, 3rd edn (New York: Harper and Row, 1985), p. 15.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Mitchell S. G. Klein, Law, Courts, and Policy (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 100, 63.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Howard Ball, Courts and Politics: The Federal Judicial System (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980), p. 2.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    James Q. Wilson, American Government: Institutions and Policies, 2nd edn (Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1983), pp.78–9.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Stuart A. Scheingold, The Politics of Rights: Lawyers, Public Policy, and Political Change (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Edward S. Corwin, The Higher Law Background of American Consitutional Law (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1929).Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (New York: The New American Library, 1961 [1788]), no. 78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 22.
    Richard J. Richardson and Kenneth N. Vines, The Politics of Federal Courts (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), p. 21.Google Scholar
  15. 23.
    Amy K. Rausch, ‘The State of the Judiciary: An Agenda for Change’, State Court Journal, V (1981), pp. 23–5.Google Scholar
  16. 24.
    Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, National Survey of Court Organization (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1973), p. 4.Google Scholar
  17. 25.
    Gerald M. Caplan, ‘Foreword’, in Karen Markle Knab (ed.), Courts of Limited Jurisdiction: A National Survey (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1977).Google Scholar
  18. 30.
    Henry J. Abraham, The Judicial Process, 4th edn (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 181.Google Scholar
  19. 31.
    Jerome R. Corsi, Judicial Politics (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984), pp. 103–4.Google Scholar
  20. 34.
    Sheldon Goldman and Austin Sarat, ‘Judges: Selection and Background’, in Sheldon Goldman and Austin Sarat (eds), American Court Systems: Readings in Judicial Process and Behavior (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1978), p. 255.Google Scholar
  21. 35.
    Herbert Jacob, Justice in America (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, 1978), pp. 116–18.Google Scholar
  22. 37.
    Willard Hurst, The Growth of American Law: The Law Makers (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, 1950)Google Scholar
  23. Willard Hurst, ‘The Functions of Courts in the United States, 1950–1980’, Law and Society Review, XV (1981), pp. 401–71.Google Scholar
  24. 38.
    Craig Wanner, ‘The Public Ordering of Private Relations; Part One: Initiating Civil Cases in Urban Trial Courts’, Law and Society Review, VIII (1974), p. 422.Google Scholar
  25. 41.
    Stuart A. Scheingold, The Politics of Rights: Lawyers, Public Policy, and Political Change (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974).Google Scholar
  26. 42.
    Jerome Frank, Courts on Trial: Myth and Reality in American Justice (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949).Google Scholar
  27. 43.
    Stuart S. Nagel, ‘Ethnic Affiliations and Judicial Propensities’, Journal of Politics, XXIV (1962), p. 110Google Scholar
  28. Sheldon Goldman, ‘Voting Behavior on the United States Courts of Appeals Revisited’, American Political Science Review, LXIX (1975), p. 505Google Scholar
  29. 44.
    Stuart S. Nagel, ‘Political Party Affiliation and Judges’ Decisions,’ American Political Science Review, LV (1961), p. 843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 45.
    Beverley B. Cook, ‘Public Opinion and Federal Judicial Policy’, American Journal of Political Science, XXI (1977), p. 598.Google Scholar
  31. 47.
    Walter F. Murphy, Elements of Judicial Strategy (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964).Google Scholar
  32. 48.
    Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong, The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), pp. 64–9.Google Scholar
  33. 49.
    J. Woodford Howard, ‘On the Fluidity of Judicial Choice,’ American Political Science Review, LXII (1968), p. 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 52.
    Chester A. Newland, ‘Legal Periodicals and the United States Supreme Court’, Midwest Journal of Political Science, III (1959), p. 72.Google Scholar
  35. 54.
    William H. Rehnquist, ‘Who Writes Decisions of the Supreme Court?’, US News and World Report (13 December, 1975), p. 275.Google Scholar
  36. 55.
    Samuel Krislov, The Role of the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1968), p. 91.Google Scholar
  37. 56.
    Jeffrey M. Berry, The Interest Group Society (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, 1984), p. 195.Google Scholar
  38. 60.
    Stephen L. Wasby, The Impact of the United States Supreme Court: Some Perspectives (Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press, 1970).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jerold L. Waltman and Kenneth M. Holland 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth M. Holland

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations