Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. By Frank B. Cross. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. 288p. $22.95.
Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History. By Keith E. Whittington. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. 320p. $35.00.
Much research aimed at explaining decision making on the courts has often been narrowly focused on either the law or judicial preferences as the primary or even sole factor in determining outcomes on our nation's courts. Frank Cross's and Keith Whittington's new analyses of the judiciary contribute to a growing body of literature that seeks to connect these two explanations, and to add an equally important third focus: the institutional arrangement of the separation of powers system. These efforts further illuminate our understanding of the judiciary and its decisions. Although the subject matter of these two books is quite different, essential to both is the authors' consideration of the courts as they shape and are shaped by the other institutions and institutional actors in our complex political system.
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