This book examines the American legal system, including a comprehensive treatment of the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite this treatment, the 'in' from the title deserves emphasis, for it extensively examines lower courts, providing separate chapters on state courts, the US District Courts, and the US Courts of Appeals. The book analyzes these courts from a legal/extralegal framework, drawing different conclusions about the relative influence of each based on institutional structures and empirical evidence. The book is also tied together through its attention to the relationship between lower courts and the Supreme Court. Additionally, Election 2000 litigation provides a common substantive topic linking many of the chapters. Finally, it provides extended coverage to the legal process, with separate chapters on civil procedure, evidence, and criminal procedure.
"The Supreme Court in the American Legal System is a distinct contribution from the existing texts -- unlike its competitors, it has a perspective and uses data to back it up. Unabashedly political in orientation, while rich in detail and facts, SCALS provides all the makings for lively class discussions. It stands as an important work for students in politics, legal studies, and those interested in the development and history of the court system." Lee Epstein, Washington University in St. Louis "The Supreme Court and the American Legal System is an outstanding text -- comprehensive, well-written, and student-friendly. The authors are to be commended for writing such an accessible judicial process and politics book. This book can be read with profit by not only students, but also laypersons, and scholars alike." Sheldon Goldman, University of Massachusetts "The Supreme Court in the American Legal System offers fresh insight into American courts and the judicial process. Segal, Spaeth, and Benesh provide extensive coverage of all the standard topics covered in judicial process classes but do so in a distinctively engaging manner. The depth and breadth of the authorsa knowledge, as well as their keen wit, is amply evidence throughout the text, making for informative and genuinely pleasurable reading. What makes this book so unique (and very appealing) is the careful attention given to introducing readers to, not only what we know about law and courts, but also how we know it. The authors make the social science research regarding the various aspects of the judicial process eminently accessible. This book will surely become a standard. " Wendy L. Martinek, State University of New York at Binghamton "From the rules that govern civil and criminal trials to the impact of Supreme Court decisions, Segal, Spaeth and Benesh thoroughly explain the American legal system. The authors expertly combine empirical data with historical analysis and legal information to provide a comprehensive look at how courts operate and the ways in which the judiciary influences public policy. The result is an exceptionally useful and well-crafted volume." Thomas Walker, Emory University Writing for a sophisticated audience and drawing on the latest political science literature, the authors occasionally have an irreverent approach to the topic. A nice addition to collections on the Supreme Court, law, and judicial politics...Highly recommended. CHOICE, D. Schultz, Hamline University "This book is a far-ranging examination of the American legal system... It relies heavily on the multifaceted and voluminous research of the three authors and includes new findings. The book combines an historical and analytical perspective that will be a welcome addition for those who teach judicial process, for those outside the academy who want a systematic analysis of the Court, and for prelaw students who want to understand civil procedure. The discussion of the relationships between state and federal courts and jurisdiction is especially strong. The book is engaging and very well written... No one is spared their strong opinions or rapier wit." Perspectives on Politics "At its core (it) is a forceful argument targeted at academic specialists and backed by sophisticated empirical analysis...the book is a rousing success...One could hardly as for a more engaging, provocative, and challenging book on judicial behavior for a general audience." David Klein, University of Virginia, Law and Politics Book Review