The Psychology of the Supreme Court

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Oxford University Press, Mar 16, 2006 - Psychology - 336 pages
With the media spotlight on the recent developments concerning the Supreme Court, more and more people have become increasingly interested in the highest court in the land. Who are the justices that run it and how do they make their decisions? The Psychology of the Supreme Court by Lawrence S. Wrightsman is the first book to thoroughly examine the psychology of Supreme Court decision-making. Dr. Wrightsman's book seeks to help us understand all aspects of the Supreme Court's functioning from a psychological perspective. This timely and comprehensive work addresses many factors of influence including, the background of the justices, how they are nominated and appointed, the role of their law clerks, the power of the Chief Justice, and the day-to-day life in the Court. Dr. Wrightsman uses psychological concepts and research findings from the social sciences to examine the steps of the decision-making process, as well as the ways in which the justices seek to remain collegial in the face of conflict and the degree of predictability in their votes. Psychologists and scholars, as well as those of us seeking to unravel the mystery of The Supreme Court of the United States will find this book to be an eye-opening read.

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The Least Understood Branch
2 The Selective Nature of Supreme Court Justices
3 Steps in the DecisionMaking Process
4 Day to Day in the Life of the Court
5 A Psychological Analysis of Decision Formation
6 The Rational Choice Model in Judicial DecisionMaking
7 The Bush v Gore Decision
8 How Individual Justices Affect Decisions
More Influential Than Other Justices?
10 Can the Courts Decisions Be Predicted?
11 Evaluating the Process

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Page 3 - Judges as persons, or courts as institutions, are entitled to no greater immunity from criticism than other persons or institutions. Just because the holders of judicial office are identified with the interests of justice they may forget their common human frailties and fallibilities. There have sometimes been martinets upon the bench as there have also been...

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