Research Handbook on Law and Courts
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Research Handbook on Law and Courts

Edited by Susan M. Sterett and Lee D. Walker

The Research Handbook on Law and Courts provides a systematic analysis of new work on courts as governing institutions. Authors consider how courts have taken on regulating fundamental categories of inclusion and exclusion, including citizenship rights. Courts’ centrality to governance is addressed in sections on judicial processes, sub-national courts, and political accountability, all analyzed in multiple legal/political systems. Other chapters turn to analyzing the worldwide push for diversity in staffing courts. Finally, the digitization of records changes both court processes and studying courts. Authors included in the Handbook discuss theoretical, empirical and methodological approaches to studying courts as governing institutions. They also identify promising areas of future research.
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Chapter 20: State high courts and precedent: the diffusion of precedent in the United States

Benjamin J. Kassow

Abstract

This book chapter examines how state high courts use precedents in their opinions, as well as how state high court opinions, and the policies contained within them, get diffused outward to other states. In this chapter, I synthesize what I see as the current state of the literature, promote larger themes that are contained within the literature, and outline several new directions for research on state high courts and opinion writing, as well as with how the literature on state high courts and policy diffusion more generally can be extended into the future.

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