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A Sword And A Shield: The Uses Of Law In The Bush Administration, Mary L. Dudziak Oct 2010

A Sword And A Shield: The Uses Of Law In The Bush Administration, Mary L. Dudziak

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The Bush administration has been criticized for departures from the rule of law, but within the administration law was not ignored. Instead it was seen variously as a tool and as a potential threat to the operation of the executive branch. Two narratives compete for attention. In an era when the legality of torture was openly debated, the deployment of law in wartime seemed the most immediate issue. At the same time, however, a decades-long conservative movement to change American law was both significantly furthered and complicated, as Supreme Court appointments moved the Court to the right, but the lack ...


All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee Jan 2010

All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies And The Rule Of Law, Keith J. Bybee

College of Law - Faculty Scholarship

This paper contains the introduction to the new book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010).

The book begins with the observation that Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether courts operate on the basis of unbiased legal principle or of political interest. This division in public opinion in turn breeds suspicion that judges do not actually mean what they say, that judicial professions of impartiality are just fig leaves used to hide the pursuit of partisan purposes.

Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy ...