Library

Election Law at the SU Law Library

Clinton, Cruz, Trump, Sanders, Kasich… these names are probably familiar to you, and this November it’s more than likely one of these individuals will be President. Election law determines America’s future. This week, in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a redistricting plan that the plaintiff’s argued was a result of partisan gerrymandering. And, earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court held line drawing can be done based on a state’s total population. Both opinions were unanimous. Does this sound confusing? Don’t fret, our law library has the resources to prepare you:

Election Law and Democratic Theory by David A. Schultz
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4886.S38 2014)
Publisher’s Description:

While numerous books and articles examine various aspects either of democratic theory or of specific topics in election law, there is no comprehensive book that provides a detailed and scholarly discussion of the political and democratic theory underpinnings of election law. Election Law and Democratic Theory fills this important gap, as author David Schultz offers a scholarly analysis of the political principles and democratic values underlying election law and the regulation of political campaigns and participants in the United States.

Bending Toward Justice : The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4893.M39 2013)
Publisher’s Description:

In Bending Toward Justice, celebrated historian Gary May describes how black voters overcame centuries of bigotry to secure and preserve one of their most important rights as American citizens. The struggle that culminated in the passage of the Voting Rights Act was long and torturous, and only succeeded because of the courageous work of local freedom fighters and national civil rights leaders—as well as, ironically, the opposition of Southern segregationists and law enforcement officials, who won public sympathy for the voting rights movement by brutally attacking peaceful demonstrators.

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a review of this work in The New York Review of Books titled “The Court & the Right to Vote: A Dissent”

America Votes! : A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights by Benjamin E. Griffith
Available at SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4886.A86 2012)
Publisher’s Description:

This book is a snapshot of America’s voting and electoral practices, problems, and most current issues. The book addresses a variety of fundamental areas concerning election law from a federal perspective such as the Help America Vote Act, lessons learned from the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, voter identification, and demographic and statistical experts in election litigation, and more. It is a useful guide for lawyers as well as law school professors, election officials, state and local government personnel, and election workers.

Race, Reform, and Regulation of the Electoral Process: Recurring Puzzles in American Democracy by Guy-Uriel E. Charles, Heather K. Gerken, & Michael S. Kang
Available at SU Law Library LAW-3rd Floor (JK1965.R33 2011)
Publisher’s Description:

This book offers a critical re-evaluation of three fundamental and interlocking themes in American democracy: the relationship between race and politics, the performance and reform of election systems, and the role of courts in regulating the political process. This edited volume features contributions from some of the leading voices in election law and social science. The authors address the recurring questions for American democracy and identify new challenges for the twenty-first century. They not only consider where current policy and scholarship is headed, but also suggest where it ought to go over the next two decades. The book thus provides intellectual guideposts for future scholarship and policymaking in American democracy.


 

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.


 

Money in the 2012 Presidential Campaign

Learn about federal campaign contributions and how money in politics not only affects political ambitions, but also our political system. OpenSecrets.org, developed by the Center for Responsive Politics, has followed campaign dollars since 1996. Since then, it has provided easy to access data on areas such as federal campaign spending, lobbying, and personal finances of members of Congress. For more information see Banking on Becoming President | OpenSecrets.