American Politicians Confront the Court

American Politicians Confront the Court

Author: Stephen M. Engel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Rating:
Category: Political Science

Politicians have long questioned, or even been openly hostile to, the legitimacy of judicial authority, but that authority seems to have become more secure over time. What explains the recurrence of hostilities and yet the security of judicial power
Addressing this question anew, Stephen Engel points to the gradual acceptance of dissenting views of the Constitution, that is, the legitimacy and loyalty of stable opposition. Politicians’ changing perception of the threat posed by opposition influenced how manipulations of judicial authority took shape. Engel’s book brings our understanding of these manipulations into line with other developments, such as the establishment of political parties, the acceptance of loyal opposition, the development of different modes of constitutional interpretation and the emergence of rights-based pluralism.

About The Author

Stephen M. Engel is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He holds a PhD in political science from Yale University as well as an MA in social thought from New York University and a BA in interdisciplinary social science from Wesleyan University. In 2007–08, he held a research fellowship at the American Bar Foundation where he conducted research on anti-Court activism in the United States. He is the author of The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2001). He has also published in Studies in American Political Development and Law and Social Inquiry.