skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 134841 Find in a Library
Title: American Courts: A Critical Assessment
Editor(s): J B Gates; C A Johnson
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 544
Sponsoring Agency: Congresional Quarterly, Inc
Washington, DC 20037
Publication Number: ISBN 0-87187-541
Sale Source: Congresional Quarterly, Inc
1414 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book offers leading judicial scholars a chance to write about various research areas, students a book that highlights important areas of judicial research, and all readers a collection of essays that critically assess contemporary research on the American judiciary.
Abstract: The chapters in the first section provide an overview of policy making by American courts including the Supreme Court, U.S. circuit courts, Federal district courts, and the State courts. The two chapters in the second section analyze judicial selection and recruitment in the Federal and State court systems and offer a model to evaluate the potential independence of State judicial systems. The third section explores the roles of judges, rules and procedures, and other issues that impact on the full range of choice affecting judicial decision making. The fourth section focuses on the relationship between courts and environmental factors in the broad sense including public opinion, interest groups, legislative and executive governmental agencies, political institutions, and the pressures of caseloads. The two chapters in the following section examine two issues related to judicial innovations: what are the circumstances leading to judicial innovation and what factors influence the spread and adoption of these innovations. The concluding chapter discusses social science theory and methods as well as the new political science perspective known as the new institutionalism. Chapter references
Main Term(s): Judicial activism; Judicial system development
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Decisionmaking
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.