in defense of judicial elections controversies in electoral democracy and representation

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In Defense Of Judicial Elections

Author : Chris W. Bonneau
ISBN : 9781135852696
Genre : Law
File Size : 58. 76 MB
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One of the most contentious issues in politics today is the propriety of electing judges. Ought judges be independent of democratic processes in obtaining and retaining their seats, or should they be subject to the approval of the electorate and the processes that accompany popular control? While this debate is interesting and often quite heated, it usually occurs without reference to empirical facts--or at least accurate ones. Also, empirical scholars to date have refused to take a position on the normative issues surrounding the practice. Bonneau and Hall offer a fresh new approach. Using almost two decades of data on state supreme court elections, Bonneau and Hall argue that opponents of judicial elections have made—and continue to make—erroneous empirical claims. They show that judicial elections are efficacious mechanisms that enhance the quality of democracy and create an inextricable link between citizens and the judiciary. In so doing, they pioneer the use of empirical data to shed light on these normative questions and offer a coherent defense of judicial elections. This provocative book is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of judicial selection, law and politics, or the electoral process. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series edited by Matthew J. Streb.

Redistricting And Representation

Author : Thomas Brunell
ISBN : 9781135925215
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 53. 83 MB
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Pundits have observed that if so many incumbents are returned to Congress to each election by such wide margins, perhaps we should look for ways to increase competitiveness – a centerpiece to the American way of life – through redistricting. Do competitive elections increase voter satisfaction? How does voting for a losing candidate affect voters’ attitudes toward government? The not-so-surprising conclusion is that losing voters are less satisfied with Congress and their Representative, but the implications for the way in which we draw congressional and state legislative districts are less straightforward. Redistricting and Representation argues that competition in general elections is not the sine qua non of healthy democracy, and that it in fact contributes to the low levels of approval of Congress and its members. Brunell makes the case for a radical departure from traditional approaches to redistricting – arguing that we need to "pack" districts with as many like-minded partisans as possible, maximizing the number of winning voters, not losers.

Congressional Representation And Constituents

Author : Brian Frederick
ISBN : 9781135194628
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87. 78 MB
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Brian Frederick uses empirical data to scrutinize whether representation has been diminished by keeping a ceiling on the number of seats available in the House and argues that now is the time for the House to be increased in order to better represent a rapidly growing country.

In Defense Of Politicians

Author : Stephen K. Medvic
ISBN : 9781136957352
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 22. 4 MB
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Politicians are reviled. From jokes on late-night TV talk shows to radio show rants and from public opinion polls to ubiquitous conventional wisdom—politicians are among the most despised professional class in modern society. Drawing on seminal work in political science, Stephen K. Medvic convincingly argues to the masses that this blanket condemnation of politicians is both unfair and unwarranted. While some individual politicians certainly deserve scorn for misjudgments, moral failings, or even criminal acts, the assumption that all of them should be cast in a similar light is unjustified. More importantly, that deeply cynical assumption is dangerous to the legitimacy of a democratic system of government. Politicians, as a class, deserve respect, not out of blind obedience to authority but because democratic deliberation requires it. Medvic explains how cognitive biases in the way people reason often lead us to draw unjustified conclusions of politicians in general based on the malfeasance of some. Scandals involving politicians are likely to be remembered and to serve as "evidence" of the belief that "they all do it." Most politicians, in fact, care deeply about their cities, states, and nation. But they face a trap of unrealistic and contradictory expectations from the public about how politicians should behave. Medvic, in turn, demonstrates the necessity of ambition, the utility of politics for resolving conflicts peacefully, and the value of ideology in framing political choices. In the end, citizens must learn to tolerate the inherent messiness of politics as the only viable alternative to violent conflict. In the process, we must embrace our role in the political system as well.

Attacking Judges

Author : Melinda Gann Hall
ISBN : 9780804793094
Genre : Law
File Size : 30. 75 MB
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Nasty, below-the-belt campaigns, mudslinging, and character attacks. These tactics have become part and parcel of today's election politics in America, and judicial elections are no exception. Attacking Judges takes a close look at the effects of televised advertising, including harsh attacks, on state supreme court elections. Author Melinda Gann Hall investigates whether these divisive elections have damaging consequences for representative democracy. To do this, Hall focuses on two key aspects of those elections: the vote shares of justices seeking reelection and the propensity of state electorates to vote. In doing so, Attacking Judges explores vital dimensions of the conventional wisdom that campaign politics has deleterious consequences for judges, voters, and state judiciaries. Countering the prevailing wisdom with empirically based conclusions, Hall uncovers surprising and important insights, including new revelations on how attack ads influence public engagement with judicial elections and their relative effectiveness in various types of state elections. Attacking Judges is a testament to the power of institutions in American politics and the value of empirical political science research in helping to inform some of the most significant debates on the public agenda. This book's results smartly contest and eradicate many of the fears judicial reformers have about the damaging effects of campaign negativity in modern state supreme court elections.

Judicial Elections In The 21st Century

Author : Chris W. Bonneau
ISBN : 9781317288213
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87. 59 MB
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Leading authorities present the latest cutting edge research on state judicial elections. Starting with recent transformations in the electoral landscape, including those brought about by U.S. Supreme Court rulings, this volume provides penetrating analyses of partisan, nonpartisan, and retention elections to state supreme courts, intermediate appellate courts, and trial courts. Topics include citizen participation, electoral competition, fundraising and spending, judicial performance evaluations, reform efforts,attack campaigns, and other organized efforts to oust judges. This volume also evaluates the impact of judicial elections on numerous aspects of American politics, including citizens’ perceptions of judicial legitimacy, diversity on the bench, and the consequences of who wins on subsequent court decisions. Many of the chapters offer predictions about how judicial elections might look in the future. Overall, this collection provides a sharp evidence-based portrait of how modern judicial elections actually work in practice and their consequences for state judiciaries and the American people.

Choosing State Supreme Court Justices

Author : Greg Goelzhauser
ISBN : 9781439913406
Genre : Law
File Size : 27. 46 MB
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Since 1940, more than half of all states have switched at least in part from popular election or elite appointment to experiment with merit selection in choosing some or all of their state supreme court justices. Under merit selection, a commission—often comprising some combination of judges, attorneys, and the general public—is tasked with considering applications from candidates vying to fill a judicial vacancy. Ostensibly, the commission forwards the best candidates to the governor, who ultimately appoints them. Presently, numerous states are debating whether to adopt or abolish merit selection. In his short, sharp book, Choosing State Supreme Court Justices, Greg Goelzhauser utilizes new data on more than 1,500 state supreme court justices seated from 1960 through 2014 to answer the question, Does merit selection produce better types of judges? He traces the rise of merit selection and explores whether certain judicial selection institutions favor candidates who have better qualifications, are more diverse, and have different types of professional experience. Goelzhauser’s results ultimately contribute to the broader debate concerning comparative institutional performance with respect to state judicial selection.

Rethinking American Electoral Democracy

Author : Matthew J. Streb
ISBN : 9781317519829
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 71. 96 MB
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While frustration with various aspects of American democracy abound in the United States, there is little agreement over—or even understanding of—what kinds of changes would make the system more effective and increase political participation. Matthew J. Streb sheds much-needed light on all the major concerns of the electoral process in the thoroughly revised third edition of this timely book on improving American electoral democracy. This critical examination of the rules and institutional arrangements that shape the American electoral process analyzes the major debates that embroil scholars and reformers on subjects ranging from the number of elections we hold and the use of nonpartisan elections, to the presidential nominating process and campaign finance laws. Ultimately, Streb argues for a less burdensome democracy, a democracy in which citizens can participate more easily in transparent, competitive elections. This book is designed to get students of elections and American political institutions to think critically about what it means to be democratic, and how democratic the United States really is. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series, edited by Matthew J. Streb.

In Defense Of Anarchism

Author : Robert Paul Wolff
ISBN : 0520215737
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84. 19 MB
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Once more available in paperback, and with a new Preface, here is Robert Paul Wolff's classic 1970 analysis of the foundations of the authority of the state and the problems of political authority and moral autonomy in a democracy.

Democracy In Chains

Author : Nancy MacLean
ISBN : 9781101980965
Genre : History
File Size : 75. 43 MB
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"Focusing on Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013), whom Charles Koch funded and championed, MacLean elaborates on [what he sees as] the Koch brothers' insidious, dangerous manipulation of American politics. Based on Buchanan's papers as well as published sources, MacLean creates a ... portrait of an arrogant, uncompromising, and unforgiving man, stolid in his mission to 'save capitalism from democracy'"--

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