Library

If You’re Exploring Constitutional Law, Consider Turning to a Libguide

America’s constitutional history is ridden with conflicts, innovations, and complexities. Referring to treatises is an effective way to research questions of constitutional law. The Seattle University Law Library has a new libguide that will help students locate primary and secondary materials related to U.S. constitutional law. Written by Law Library Intern Justin Abbasi, it features leading treatises, links to useful content, and books that will orient readers to America’s perennial debates involving constitutional theory and interpretation.


 

Chemerinsky visiting SU Law on April 19

Erwin Chemerinsky is visiting SU Law as part of the Influential Voices lecture series. Chemerinsky is the dean of UC-Irvine Law School and is also a familiar name to law students because he wrote the textbook used in many constitutional law courses across the nation as well as the popular companion Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, which we have in our law library (LAW-Reserve (KF4550.C427 2015).

Chemerinsky is presenting his new book The Case Against the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 19 in Sullivan Hall Room C5 at Noon. A book signing and reception will follow.

The Case Against the Supreme Court is Chemerinsky’s eighth book. Released prior to the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, in this book Chemerinsky argues for term limits and a reassessment of the institution. He is very critical of the Court and uses many examples to point out the how the justices are fallible and the Court’s opinions are often flawed.

 

Want to catch up on Chemerinsky before the big event, check out these books in our library:

Enhancing Government: Federalism for the 21st Century
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4600.C48 2008)

The Conservative Assault on the Constitution
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4550.C426 2010)

If you’re interested in Constitutional Law, you should also check out our LibGuide on the topic!


 

Judicial Appointments eBooks at SU

With President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nomination, judicial appointments have been in the news. If you’re interested in learning more about judicial appointments from the comfort of your home, check out these eBooks from Seattle University’s Library:

Two-Fer Electing a President and a Supreme Court by Clint Bolick (2012)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

Constitutional scholar Clint Bolick examines the importance of judicial nominations in current and future political campaigns—not just in campaigns for president but also for the senators who confirm the nominees and the governors who appoint state court judges. He offers his opinion of the framers’ original intentions—that the judiciary play a robust role in curbing abuses of government power and protecting individual rights—and provides both a historical perspective and a look at the courts’ decisions on today’s most contentious issues.

Court Nominations Issues in Nomination and Confirmation by Peter C. Kesterhoff (2009)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

This new book sheds light on whether Senate processing of lower court nominations, particularly to the courts of appeals, has tended over recent decades to slow down in presidential election years. The report begins by reviewing recent debate, and historical events dating back to 1980, concerning whether the Senate and its Judiciary Committee customarily observe a practice referred to as the “Thurmond rule.” Next, the report provides narratives on each presidential election year from 1980 to 2004, reviewing Senate and committee actions taken on court of appeals and district court nominations in each of the years. The book then compares these years quantitatively, examining the number and percent of nominations processed and the last dates of committee and Senate action taken. Findings include the following: Senators of both parties at different times have spoken of their expectations of a drop-off in processing of judicial nominations occurring earlier in presidential election years than in other years. However, there is no written Senate or Judiciary Committee rule — nor was any bipartisan agreement reached during the 1980-2004 period — concerning judicial nominations in presidential election years.

Advice and Dissent The Struggle to Shape the Federal Judiciary by Sarah A. Binder & Forrest Maltzman (2009)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

For better or worse, federal judges in the United States today are asked to resolve some of the nation’s most important and contentious public policy issues. Although some hold onto the notion that federal judges are simply neutral arbiters of complex legal questions, the justices who serve on the Supreme Court and the judges who sit on the lower federal bench are in fact crafters of public law. In recent years, for example, the Supreme Court has bolstered the rights of immigrants, endorsed the constitutionality of school vouchers, struck down Washington D.C.’s blanket ban on handgun ownership, and most famously, determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. The judiciary now is an active partner in the making of public policy.

Advice and Consent : The Politics of Judicial Appointments by Lee Epstein & Jeffrey A. Segal (2005)

Available at: ebrary Academic Complete. Publisher’s Description:

From Louis Brandeis to Robert Bork to Clarence Thomas, the nomination of federal judges has generated intense political conflict. With the coming retirement of one or more Supreme Court Justices–and threats to filibuster lower court judges–the selection process is likely to be, once again, the center of red-hot partisan debate. In Advice and Consent, two leading legal scholars, Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal, offer a brief, illuminating Baedeker to this highly important procedure, discussing everything from constitutional background, to crucial differences in the nomination of judges and justices, to the role of the Judiciary Committee in vetting nominees. Epstein and Segal shed light on the role played by the media, by the American Bar Association, and by special interest groups (whose efforts helped defeat Judge Bork). Though it is often assumed that political clashes over nominees are a new phenomenon, the authors argue that the appointment of justices and judges has always been a highly contentious process–one largely driven by ideological and partisan concerns. The reader discovers how presidents and the senate have tried to remake the bench, ranging from FDRs controversial court packing scheme to the Senates creation in 1978 of 35 new appellate and 117 district court judgeships, allowing the Democrats to shape the judiciary for years. The authors conclude with possible reforms, from the so-called nuclear option, whereby a majority of the Senate could vote to prohibit filibusters, to the even more dramatic suggestion that Congress eliminate a judges life tenure either by term limits or compulsory retirement. With key appointments looming on the horizon, Advice and Consent provides everything concerned citizens need to know to understand the partisan rows that surround the judicial nominating process.

Check out this handy guide for information on how to use eBooks at SU.