Judicial Process and Judicial Policymaking  book cover
7th Edition

Judicial Process and Judicial Policymaking

ISBN 9781138370555
Published June 21, 2019 by Routledge
384 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

An excellent introduction to judicial politics as a method of analysis, the seventh edition of Judicial Process and Judicial Policymaking 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, and weaves four major premises throughout the text: 1) Courts in the United States have always played an important role in governing and 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.

New to the Seventh Edition

■ New cases through the end of the Supreme Court’s 2018 term.

■ New case studies on the Garland-Gorsuch controversy; plea negotiation (of special relevance to the Trump administration); and the litigation over Obamacare, as well as brief coverage of the Kavanaugh confirmation.

■ Expanded coverage of the crisis in the legal profession, sentencing with attention to the rise of mass incarceration and the issue of race, constitutional interpretation and the rise of “originalism,” and same-sex marriage.

■ Updated tables and figures throughout.

■ A new online e-Resource including edited cases, a glossary of terms, and resources for further learning.

This text is appropriate for all students of judicial process and policy.

Table of Contents


1 Courts and the Law

Part I Structures and Participants in the Judicial Process

2 The Federal and State Court Systems

3 Judges

4 Lawyers

Part II Judicial Process and Judicial Decision Making

5 Trials and Appeals

6 Criminal Justice and the Courts

7 Civil Justice and the Courts

8 Judicial Decision Making

Part III Judicial Policymaking

9 Judicial Policymaking: An Introduction

10 Federal Court Policymaking

11 State Court Policymaking


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G. Alan Tarr received his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He is Board of Governors professor of political science emeritus and founder 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 has most recently completed a study of judicial independence and accountability in the American states.


The book is well written, and students certainly find it understandable. I think the book appropriately does not assume that students have a background on this information and does a good job explaining whole concepts. I have used a version of Tarr's book for over fifteen years and the revisions for the seventh edition are really spot on. I especially like the change to “A Crisis in the Legal Profession.” I am now the director of our prelaw program and I am incorporating much more of the law school and legal profession components to my course curriculum.

-- Kathryn DePalo, Florida International University

I like the organization and the flow of the book. I also find the writing to be quite good. And I think it keeps current as much as is possible with a textbook—important for student interest.

-- Stuart Shiffman, Feldman-Wasser and formerly of Illinois State University