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4. How does the Supreme Court make decisions?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about how Supreme Court justices make decisions and the extent to which politics plays a role in these decisions, focusing in particular on: (i) Trump’s description of John Tigar as an “Obama judge” following a ruling against him in 2018 and the response of Chief Justice John Roberts; (ii) the concept of ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’ and ‘swing’ justices; and (iii) the three main theories of judicial decision-making: the legal model, the attitudinal model, and rational choice theory.
In this course, Dr Emma Long (University of East Anglia) provides an introduction to the Supreme Court of the United States. In the first module, we think about what the Supreme Court is, when it was set up, and how it works. After that, in the second module, we think about what kinds of cases make it to the Supreme Court and how they are processed once they get there. In the third module, we think about the Supreme Court justices themselves, before turning in the fourth module to consider three theories of judicial decision-making: the legal model, the attitudinal model, and rational choice theory. In the fifth module, we think about the role of the judiciary in relation to the legislature, focusing on the concepts of judicial activism and restraint, originalism and living constitutionalism.
Dr Emma Long is Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her research interests focus on the history of the US Constitution and the Supreme Court. Although interested in all aspects of this history, her particular focus is on the period since 1945 and on the rights contained in the Bill of Rights. Emma also has an interest in the interaction of religion and politics in American history, particularly issues related to the idea of the “separation of church and state” that emerge from the First Amendment.
Cite this Lecture
Long, E. (2020, February 26). The Supreme Court of the United States - How does the Supreme Court make decisions? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-supreme-court-of-the-united-states/how-does-the-supreme-court-make-decisions
Long, E. "The Supreme Court of the United States – How does the Supreme Court make decisions?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Feb 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-supreme-court-of-the-united-states/how-does-the-supreme-court-make-decisions