The U.S. Supreme Court and the Electoral Process: , Second Edition

Front Cover
David K. Ryden
Georgetown University Press, Sep 6, 2002 - Political Science - 384 pages

The U.S. Supreme Court—at least until Bush v. Gore—had seemed to float along in an apolitical haze in the mind of the electorate. It was the executive branch and the legislative branch that mucked about in politics getting dirty, the judicial branch kept its robes—and nose—clean. The U.S. Supreme Court and the Electoral Process makes it abundantly clear however that before, during, and after the judicial decision that made George W. Bush the President of the United States, everything was, is, and will likely be, politics-including the decisions handed down by the highest court in the land.

This revised and updated edition takes into account not only the recent famous (or infamous, depending on the reader's point of view) judicial decision on the Presidency, but a myriad of others as well in which the U.S. Supreme Court has considered the constitutionality of a wide range of issues involving voting and elections, representation, and political participation. Practitioners and academics in both law and political science examine a number of court actions that directly affect how we choose those who govern us, and how those decisions have affected our electoral politics, constitutional doctrine, and the fundamental concepts of democracy, including: racial redistricting, term limits, political patronage, campaign finance regulations, third-party ballot access, and state ballot initiatives limiting civil liberties.

Of the first edition, CHOICE said, The U.S. Supreme Court and the Electoral Process "plumbs the Supreme Court's constitutive apolitical role as 'primary shaper of the electoral system' and reveals the pervasive involvement of the Court in the political process."


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The US Supreme Court the Electoral Process and the Quest for Representation An Overview
The Judicial Search for Electoral Representation
Representation Rights and the Rehnquist Years The Viability of the Communities of Interest Approach
Vote Dilution Party Dilution and the Voting Rights Act The Search for Fair and Effective Representation
Districting and the Meanings of Pluralism The Courts Futile Search for Standards in Kiryas Joel
Political Parties The Key to or the Scourge of Representation?
Back to the Future The Enduring Dilemmas Revealed in the Supreme Courts Treatment of Political Parties
Partisan Autonomy or State Regulatory Authority? The Court as Mediator
Out of the Shadows Bush v Gore the Court and the Selection of a President
Bush v Gore Typifies the Rehnquist Courts Hostility to Voters
An Agnostic Assessment of the 2000 Presidential Election
What Bush v Gore Does and Does Not Tell Us about the Supreme Court and Electoral Politics
The Imperiousness of Bush v Gore
The Court the Constitution and Election Law Merging Practice and Theory
The Supreme Court Has No Theory of Politicsand Be Thankful for Small Favors
The Supreme Court as Architect of Election Law Summing Up Looking Ahead

The Supreme Courts Patronage Decisions and the Theory and Practice of Politics
The Court and Political Reform Friend or Foe?
Entrenching the TwoParty System The Supreme Courts Fusion Decision
To Curb Parties or to Court Them? Seeking a Constitutional Framework for Campaign Finance Reform
Plebiscites and Minority Rights A Contrarian View
Table of Cases

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Page 15 - Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment ; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

About the author (2002)

David K. Ryden is associate professor of political science and Towsley Research Scholar at Hope College, Holland, Michigan, and author of Representation in Crisis: The U.S. Supreme Court, Interest Groups, and Political Parties.

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