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2 - The Role of the Law in the American Political Economy

from I - Political Arenas and Actors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2021

Jacob S. Hacker
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
Alexander Hertel-Fernandez
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Paul Pierson
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Kathleen Thelen
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Summary

On the same day that the White House announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, it turned to business groups to aid in the public relations campaign to secure his confirmation (Goldstein 2018). Once seated, Kavanaugh solidified a strong pro-business orientation on the nation’s highest court, an orientation further consolidated with the eleventh-hour appointment of Amy Coney Barrett in the run-up to the November 2020 election. Meanwhile, the entire federal bench was also being transformed through the confirmations – at an unprecedented pace – of a string of young conservative jurists in the Trump administration (Ruiz et al. 2020). Most of the newest additions are drawn from the membership lists of the Federalist Society, a powerful organization composed of lawyers and legal scholars committed to an originalist reading of the American constitution and a radical free market economic ideology.

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Chapter
Information
The American Political Economy
Politics, Markets, and Power
, pp. 76 - 102
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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