Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints (Ninth Edition)

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9781483384054: Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints (Ninth Edition)
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Judicial decisions are influenced by myriad political factors, from lawyers and interest groups, to the shifting sentiments of public opinion, to the ideological and behavioral inclinations of the justices. Authors Lee Epstein and Thomas G. Walker show how these dynamics shape the development of constitutional doctrine. Known for fastidious revising and streamlining, the authors incorporate the latest scholarship in the fields of both political science and legal studies and offer rock-solid analysis of both classic and contemporary landmark cases, including key opinions handed down through the 2015 session. Filled with supporting material―photographs of the litigants, sidebars comparing the U.S. with other nations, and "Aftermath" boxes that tell the stories of the parties′ lives after the Supreme Court has acted―the text encourages greater student engagement with the material and a more complete understanding of the American constitution.

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About the Author:

Lee Epstein is Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. A recipient of 12 grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on law and legal institutions, Epstein has authored or co-authored over 100 articles and essays, as well as 15 books, including The Choices Justices Make (co-authored with Jack Knight), which won the Pritchett Award for the Best Book on Law and Courts and the Lasting Contribution Award for making a “lasting impression on the field of law and courts.” The Constitutional Law for a Changing America series (co-authored with Thomas G. Walker) received the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Her most recent books are The Behavior of Federal Judges, with William M. Landes and Richard A. Posner, and An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research, with Andrew D. Martin.

Review:

"Constitutional Law for a Changing America remains the best political science Constitutional Law textbook on the market. It contains everything I want―an appropriate set of cases, lots of contextual material, and well edited opinions.  It is a title that has evolved smartly without losing its core features." Author: Chad Westerland

"Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints is by far the best text I’ve found for presenting the broad topics of constitutional law by integrating case law with the broader socio-political context. Epstein and Walker do a fine job of balancing excerpts and analyses throughout the book while keeping an admirably balanced tone." Author: Rebecca D. Gill

"Constitutional Law in a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints is a great textbook. What I like the most are the comprehensive ‘Facts’ and ‘Arguments’ sections within each case, which I find vital in teaching and explaining the reasons behind the Court’s outcomes. The introductory chapter explaining how cases arrive at the Supreme Court and the different methods of constitutional interpretation used in resolving cases also provides a natural starting point for discussions of the Supreme Court and constitutional law." Author: Benjamin Bricker

"The presentation of cases in Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints is useful for both my students and me. The presentation lends itself to in-class discussions, permitting students to participate in meaningful ways.  The combination of legal, political, and historical analysis helps students to understand the multitude of considerations relevant to the Court’s decisions." Author: Douglas Rice

"The opinions highlighted in Constitutional Law are spot on, summarize both sides of the argument, and make Court’s reasoning available to the students.  The authors do an excellent job of introducing the cases and placing them in the context of a well-defined narrative so that students can understand the broader significance of each decision." Author: Linda J. Wharton

"I have used this text for several years and students report enjoying it every year.  The integration of historical documents and the lively commentary about the historical and political contexts of cases bring them to life and make the material more engaging for students." Author: Liane Kosaki

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