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The Rights Paradox: How Group Attitudes Shape US Supreme Court Legitimacy
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The Rights Paradox: How Group Attitudes Shape US Supreme Court Legitimacy (Hardback)

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The US Supreme Court is the chief institution responsible for guarding minority rights and equality under the law, yet, in order to function authoritatively, the Court depends on a majority of Americans to accept its legitimacy and on policymakers to enforce its rulings. The Rights Paradox confronts this tension, offering a careful conceptualization and theory of judicial legitimacy that emphasizes its connection to social groups. Zilis demonstrates that attitudes toward minorities and other groups are pivotal for shaping popular support for the Court, with the Court losing support when it rules in favor of unpopular groups. Moreover, justices are aware of these dynamics and strategically moderate their decisions when concerned about the Court's legitimacy. Drawing on survey and experimental evidence, as well as analysis of Court decision-making across many recent high-profile cases, Zilis examines the implications for 'equal justice under the law' in an era of heightened polarization and conflict.

History & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical science & theoryHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentPolitical structure & processesConstitution: government & the stateLawLaws of Specific jurisdictionsLegal system: generalCourts & procedure Publisher: Cambridge University Press Publication Date: 31/03/2021 ISBN-13: 9781108832090  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Michael A. Zilis is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky. His research, on political resistance to the US Supreme Court has been supported by the National Science Foundation. He is the author of The Limits of Legitimacy, which was named a 2015 Exemplary Law Book.

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