Winner of the Thomas M. Cooley Book Prize, Georgetown Center on the ConstitutionWhy do self-proclaimed constitutional “originalists” so regularly reach decisions with a politically conservative valence? Do “living constitutionalists” claim a license to reach whatever results they prefer, without regard to the Constitution’s language and history? In confronting these questions, Richard H. Fallon reframes and ultimately transcends familiar debates about constitutional law, constitutional theory, and judicial legitimacy.Drawing from ideas in legal scholarship, philosophy, and political science, Fallon presents a theory of judicial legitimacy based on an ideal of good faith in constitutional argumentation. Good faith demands that the Justices base their decisions only on legal arguments that they genuinely believe to be valid and are prepared to apply to similar future cases. Originalists are correct about this much. But good faith does not forbid the Justices to refine and adjust their interpretive theories in response to the novel challenges that new cases present. Fallon argues that theories of constitutional interpretation should be works in progress, not rigid formulas laid down in advance of the unforeseeable challenges that life and experience generate.Law and Legitimacy in the Supreme Court offers theories of constitutional law and judicial legitimacy that accept many tenets of legal realism but reject its corrosive cynicism. Fallon’s account both illuminates current practice and prescribes urgently needed responses to a legitimacy crisis in which the Supreme Court is increasingly enmeshed.
How does the leadership of a Senate committee influence the outcome of bills? In Leadership in Committee C. Lawrence Evans delves into the behavior of legislative leaders and the effects of what they do, how their tactics vary, and why. Using evidence gleaned from personal interviews with a large number of U.S. senators and Senate staff, the author compares the leadership styles of eight committee chairs and ranking minority members in the U.S. Senate. The result is a significant contribution to the literature on American politics, the first book-length, comparative analysis of legislative leadership behavior in the modern Senate.
". . . .this book is highly recommended reading for those interested in both legislative politics and political leadership. . . .Leadership in Committee establishes Evans as one of the handful of political scientists who have done justice to the subtleties of politics in the modern Senate."
---Randall Strahan, Journal of Politics
"Larry Evans has significantly influenced my own work over the years, and Leadership in Committee is one reason why. It is a model of great scholarship, the best work on committee leadership ever written. It has the discriminatory sense of context that appears only when the author truly knows his subject. It is theoretical without being reductionist or vacuously abstract. Its principal claims are general yet sufficiently concrete to be testable, and Evans provides systematic, comparative evidence to support (or qualify) each of them. Larger issues of agenda-setting, institutional structure, partisanship, anticipated reactions, participation, committee-floor bargaining, and strategic action of various kinds receive thoughtful and insightful examination. And the book is simply a terrific read. Too long in coming, the publication of Leadership in Committee in paperback ought to spark a well-deserved revival of interest in this work."
---Richard L. Hall, University of Michigan
During the 2008 election season, politicians from both sides of the aisle promised to rid government of lobbyists’ undue influence. For the authors of Lobbying and Policy Change, the most extensive study ever done on the topic, these promises ring hollow—not because politicians fail to keep them but because lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests.
Based on a comprehensive examination of ninety-eight issues, this volume demonstrates that sixty percent of recent lobbying campaigns failed to change policy despite millions of dollars spent trying. Why? The authors find that resources explain less than five percent of the difference between successful and unsuccessful efforts. Moreover, they show, these attempts must overcome an entrenched Washington system with a tremendous bias in favor of the status quo.
Though elected officials and existing policies carry more weight, lobbies have an impact too, and when advocates for a given issue finally succeed, policy tends to change significantly. The authors argue, however, that the lobbying community so strongly reflects elite interests that it will not fundamentally alter the balance of power unless its makeup shifts dramatically in favor of average Americans’ concerns.
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