The Judicial Tug of War

Seminar

Speaker(s)

Adam Bonica, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University

Date and Time

January 21, 2021 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Availability

RSVP Required.

Location

Online, via Zoom: REGISTER

About the Event:  Why have conservatives decried “activist judges”? And why have liberals - and America's powerful legal establishment - emphasized qualifications and experience over ideology? This transformative text tackles these questions with a new framework for thinking about the nation's courts, 'the judicial tug of war', which not only explains current political clashes over America's courts but also powerfully predicts the composition of courts moving forward. As the text demonstrates through novel quantitative analyses, a greater ideological rift between politicians and legal elites leads politicians to adopt measures that put ideology and politics front and center - for example, judicial elections. On the other hand, ideological closeness between politicians and the legal establishment leads legal elites to have significant influence on the selection of judges. Ultimately, the judicial tug of war makes one point clear: for good or bad, politics are critical to how judges are selected and whose interests they ultimately represent.

Adam BonicaAbout the Speaker:  Adam Bonica is an Associate Professor of Political Science. His research is at the intersection of data science and politics, with interests in money in politics, campaigns and elections, judicial politics, and political methodology.

 

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