The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process

By Kevin L. Lyles | Go to book overview

justice system," 80 percent of all judges agreed (Table 2.6, Q23). Again, however, a higher percentage of Republican appointees favor this statement than Democratic appointees, 87 percent to 67 percent, respectively.

Consider also that when judges were asked whether "[p]oor litigants are treated fairly in the courts," about 78 percent of all judges agreed (Table 2.6, Q24). Again, a higher percentage of Republican appointees, 84 percent, support this statement compared to a somewhat smaller percentage, 67 percent, of Democratic appointees.

Lastly, the NDJS asked the judges whether "more women and minority judges would improve the overall quality of the district courts." In response, about 40 percent of the judges agreed, however, only 32 percent of Republican appointees agreed with this statement compared to just over half, 54 percent, of Democratic appointees (Table 2.6, Q25).


CHAPTER SUMMARY

The basic focus of this chapter has been to examine the basic institutional and systemic role and functions of the federal district courts in the American federal judiciary. This profile emphasized, among other characteristics, the broad jurisdiction, increasing caseload, and the critical function of the courts as both visible trial courts and "gatekeepers" to the higher federal courts.

Overall, it follows that increases in the jurisdiction, caseload, the number of sitting judges, and their supporting personnel combine to illustrate the key policymaking role and potential of our federal district courts. In addition, relevant NDJS data were provided to fill the gaps between the institutional nature of the courts and the practical realities about what the judges actually believe about the courts' institutional functions in the American political process. These data reveal that majorities of district court judges agree that they are indeed involved in the policy process; large numbers of these judges do in fact make law; many feel that they should make law; and, many feel that one special and unique function of the federal judiciary is to protect minority rights against the majority.

On balance, the institutional nature of the district courts, combined with the judges' own attitudes about the function of these courts contribute to the increasing visibility and importance of district courts in the policy process. Thus, the focus on who these judges are and how they are appointed to serve on the district courts is increasing. These matters--the selection and confirmation processes for district court judges--are discussed in the next chapter.


NOTES
1.
Henry J. Abraham, The Judicial Process, 6th. ed. ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 157.
2.
This act has been mainly attributed to Oliver Ellsworth, who was later Chief Justice

-31-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Gatekeepers: Federal District Courts in the Political Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 320

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.