Higher Education

Judicial Process and Judicial Policymaking, 6th Edition

  • G. Alan Tarr Rutgers University, Camden
  • ISBN-10: 1435462394  |  ISBN-13: 9781435462397
  • 384 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2010, 2006, 2003
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $119.00
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Providing an excellent introduction to judicial politics as a method of analysis, JUDICIAL PROCESS AND JUDICIAL POLICYMAKING, Sixth Edition, focuses on policy in the judicial process. Rather than limiting the text to coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, G. Alan Tarr examines the judiciary as the third branch of government; asks students to form their own evaluations of the organization, function, and impact of the courts on and within government; and weaves four major premises throughout the text: 1) Courts in the United States have always played an important role in governing and that their role has increased in recent decades; 2) Judicial policymaking is a distinctive activity; 3) Courts make policy in a variety of ways; and 4) Courts may be the objects of public policy, as well as creators.

Features and Benefits

  • Offers revised and expanded discussions of sentencing in criminal cases, including Supreme Court rulings on sentencing guidelines, the consequences of three-strikes legislation, and levels of incarceration in the United States.

Table of Contents

1. Courts and Law.
2. The Federal and State Court Systems.
3. Judges.
4. Lawyers.
5. Trials and Appeals.
6. Criminal Justice and the Courts.
7. Civil Justice and the Courts.
8. Judicial Decision Making.
9. Judicial Policymaking: An Introduction.
10. Federal Court Policymaking.
11. State Court Policymaking.

What's New

  • Reflects the most recent legal developments and scholarship.
  • Offers revised and expanded discussion of the American legal profession, particularly the reduced job opportunities for recent law school graduates.
  • Includes detailed discussion of recent state rulings on same-sex marriage, on popular reactions to those rulings, and on the federal courts’ involvement with the issue.
  • Considers how the recession in the United States has affected the funding of courts and its effects on the administration of justice.
  • Adds detailed discussion of the appointments of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Efficacy and Outcomes


“It is comprehensive and introduces students to all of the fundamentals in a very readable way with excellent examples and illustrations. It is regularly updated, which is also very important.”

— Philip Dynia, Loyola University, New Orleans

“JPJP is a thorough treatment of the American legal system, based on the reality that judges are political actors who make policy. It covers all of the usual topics in a good deal of detail and provides real-world examples to highlight its points. It also contains discussions of judicial process in other countries, which will assist students in understanding where the U.S. sits among the legal systems of the world.”

— Paul M. Collins, Jr., University of North Texas

“It is a typical judicial process text written by an esteemed political scientist. The book covers the basics, and it provides students with engaging account of key issues facing courts, judges, and the law.”

— Steven Tauber, University of South Florida

Meet the Author

Author Bio

G. Alan Tarr

G. Alan Tarr received his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He is a distinguished professor of political science and director of the Center for State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, Camden. Professor Tarr has served as a constitutional consultant in Russia, South Africa, Cyprus, and Burma. A three-time NEH Fellow, he is currently completing a study of judicial independence and accountability in the American states.