Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Synopsis

This groundbreaking book analyzes the decisions made by the United States circuit courts over the past half century. These courts have a profound impact on the law- they issue many more decisions in many more areas of law than the Supreme Court. Cross demonstrates that while the courts' judges are influenced by ideology and by the appointing president, legal requirements exercise a much stronger influence on their decisions. He also shows that these courts are independent of the other branches of government and free from undue influence of various parties. The book further introduces new research on the precedent-setting power of decisions.

Excerpt

This book deals with the decisions rendered by the United States circuit courts of appeals and with the opinions from those decisions. These courts are intermediate, between the trial courts and the Supreme Court, and they resolve appeals from the legal rulings of the trial courts as well as from some administrative agencies. The United States has twelve basic circuits of broad appellate jurisdiction, divided geographically (e.g., the first circuit governs Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island), plus the relatively new federal circuit, which has limited subject matter jurisdiction. When a party appeals a lower court decision, that decision is typically assigned to a panel of three circuit court judges, who will affirm or reverse it. Although cases are sometimes heard en banc, before all the judges of the circuit, this is rare. The overwhelming majority of decisions are rendered by three-judge panels.

While most public reportage and even scholarly research deals with the U.S. Supreme Court, the circuit courts are much more important in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.