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Seminar Guide - The Politics of Supreme Court Decision Making

A guide to seminar-specific resources as well as general help writing a seminar paper.

U.S. Supreme Court Resources

Databases with a key icon (key icon) in front of them are provided by the Law Library or the Texas A&M Libraries. A NetID and password may be required for access.

The Oyez Project: A multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.

key iconSupreme Court Compendium: Comprehensive collection of historical and statistical information on every important aspect of the Court that covers the Court's history and development as an institution; its caseload and decision making; the justices' backgrounds, nominations, and confirmations; the Court's relationships with the public, the media, and other governmental and judicial bodies; and public views on the Court and its decisions.

Supreme Court Database

key iconHistory of Supreme Court Nominations: This library features the complete print series Supreme Court of the U.S.: Hearings and Reports on Successful and Unsuccessful Nominations of Supreme Court Justices by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Browse by Justice option allows you to see relevant works related to that Justice, including links to articles and a bibliography of other works, along with links to scholarly articles.

Journal of Supreme Court History

Supreme Court Nominations, 1789-present: Official list of all presidential nominations to the Supreme Court.

key iconU.S. Supreme Court Library: Actual page images of U.S. Reports (1754-2004), U.S. Reports Preliminary Prints (2002-2006), and U.S. Reports Slip Opinions (2002-present). Also includes books and journals about the U.S. Supreme Court.

key iconU.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978: The most complete, digital collection of Supreme Court cases for this time period. Includes primary source material such as transcripts and briefs.

Political History & Policymaking

Databases with a key icon (key icon) in front of them are provided by the Law Library or the Texas A&M Libraries. A NetID and password may be required for access.

key iconPolitical Science Complete: Provides extensive coverage of global political topics with a worldwide focus. Contains full text for hundreds of journals along with indexing and abstracting for thousands of publications.

key iconPolitical Science: SAGE Full-Text Collection: Contains the full-text of 23 journals published by SAGE and participating societies, encompassing over 18,000 articles, some back to 1980. It covers topics in Political Science, American Government & Politics, Political Sociology, Comparative Politics, Policy Studies, Political Communication, Peace and Conflict Studies, Presidential Studies, Political Theory/Philosophy, International Relations, and Area Studies.

Legal & Judicial History Resources

Databases with a key icon (key icon) in front of them are provided by the Law Library or the Texas A&M Libraries. A NetID and password may be required for access.

key iconCongress and the Courts: This library, featuring William H. Manz's Congress and the Courts: A Legislative History 1787-2010, brings together materials reflecting congressional concern with the composition and structure of Article III Courts and provides all relevant documents prepared by various Congresses relating to the purpose, formation, organization, and restructuring of the federal government. Also included are Federal Judicial Center publications, periodicals, links to scholarly articles, CFR Title 28 - Judicial Administration, and much more.

key iconThe Making of Modern Law: Digital images of every page of 22,000 legal treatises on US and British law published from 1800 through 1926. Provides full-text searching of more than 10 million pages.

Articles & Reports

This is a very small sampling of law review articles on the topic of judicial decisionmaking and the politics of the Supreme Court. All links are to HeinOnline; a Texas A&M NetID and password may be required for access.

Frank B. Cross & Blake J. Nelson, Strategic Institutional Effects on Supreme Court Decisionmaking, 95 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1437 (2000-2001)

Robert A. Dahl, Decision-Making in a Democracy: The Supreme Court as a National Policy-Maker, 6 J. Pub. L. 279 (1957)

Neal Devins, Should the Supreme Court Fear Congress?, 90 Minn. L. Rev. 1337 (2005-2006)

Lee Epstein et al., The Supreme Court as a Strategic National Policymaker, 50 Emory L. J. 583 (2001)

Barry Friedman, History of the Countermajoritarian Difficulty, Part One: The Road to Judicial Supremacy, 73 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 333 (1998)

Barry Friedman, The Politics of Judicial Review, 84 Tex. L. Rev. 257 (2005-2006)

Tracey E. George, Developing a Positive Theory of Decisionmaking on U.S. Courts of Appeals, 58 Ohio St. L.J. 1635 (1997-1998)

Thomas Halper, Senate Rejection of Supreme Court Nominees, 22 Drake L. Rev. 102 (1972-1973)

David S. Law, Appointing Federal Judges: The President, the Senate, and the Prisoner's Dilemma, 26 Cardozo L. Rev. 479 (2004-2005)

Theodore W. Ruger, A Question Which Convulses a Nation: The Early Republic's Greatest Debate about the Judicial Review Power, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 826 (2003-2004)

Fritz W. Scharpf, Judicial Review and the Political Question: A Functional Analysis, 75 Yale L.J. 517 (1965-1966)

Martin Shapiro, Supreme Court and Constitutional Adjudication: Of Politics and Neutral Principles, 1 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 587 (1962-1963)

Kevin H. Smith, Certiorari and the Supreme Court Agenda: An Empirical Analysis, 54 Okla. L. Rev. 727 (2001)

Matthew B. Stein, Something Wicked This Way Comes: Constitutional Transformation and the Growing Power of the Supreme Court, 71 Ford. L. Rev. 579 (2002)

Cass R. Sunstein, If People Would be Outraged by their Rulings, Should Judges Care?, 60 Stan. L. Rev. 155 (2007-2008)

Mark Tushnet et al., Judicial Review and Congressional Tenure: An Observation, 66 Tex. L. Rev. 967 (1987-1988)

James G. Wilson, The Role of Public Opinion in Constitutional Interpretation, 1993 BYU L. Rev. 1037 (1993)

J. Skelly Wright, Role of the Supreme Court in a Democratic Society - Judicial Activism or Restraint, 54 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (1968-1969)