Political factors influence judicial decisions. Arguments and input from lawyers and interest groups, the ebb and flow of public opinion, and especially the ideological and behavioral inclinations of the justices all combine to shape the development of constitutional doctrine. Drawing on political science as much as from legal studies, Constitutional Law for a Changing America helps students realize that Supreme Court cases are more than just legal names and citations.
As always, Epstein and Walker account for new scholarship as well as reconsider all excerpted cases for both additions and cuts. With meticulous updating throughout, the authors feature reworked and revised discussion on:
- the methods of constitutional interpretation,
- jurisdiction stripping and standing,
- the appointments clause and theories of presidential power,
- theories of the separation-of-powers system,
- all cases related to the war on terrorism,
- theories of federalism and the current state of the federalism/commerce doctrine; in particular, linkages between chapters 6 and 7 have been made more explicit.
Two important improvements in the book’s design lead to more focused and effective reading:
- a revamped interior layout clearly delineates between author commentary and opinion excerpts,
- a new “Arguments” section in the case commentary details the attorneys’ arguments for each side.