A “Catholic Layman of German Nationality and Citizenship”?: Carl Schmitt and the Religiosity of Life
Carl Schmitt positioned his constitutional theory in the context of a “political theology” and referred to himself repeatedly as a Catholic. Schmitt scholarship has long pursued this self-depiction without establishing a convincing “Catholic” doctrine, political position, or life praxis. This chapter provides an overview and critical interrogation of Schmitt’s self-description. By emphasizing his political and theological distance from his early background and from the political Catholicism of the interwar period, the chapter analyzes his systematic connection of theism, personalism, and decisionism, and considers Schmitt as a “religious” author and person. Schmitt’s apocalyptically dramatized perception and stylization of life as a permanent “state of exception” can be seen as a religious practice of testing contingency and sovereignty and self-assigning to “salvation.” Schmitt must thus be understood not as a part of majority Catholicism, but beyond it, among the religious movements in the history of modern secular faith.
Donald R. Songer and Susan B. Haire
The formal organization of court systems and jurisdictional rules established by legislatures often determine which litigants will have their cases reviewed by an appellate court. While some procedural obstacles are straightforward in their application, others require judicial interpretation with research findings suggesting that judges’ policy goals are related to decision-making on threshold issues. Even if there are no jurisdictional constraints, some losing litigants weigh the costs and benefits of pursuing an appeal. Still, filing an appeal does not guarantee full consideration of the issues raised by an appellant. Caseload pressures have contributed to screening procedures that result in only a minority of cases being closely scrutinized by an appellate panel. This chapter examines research on this winnowing process that characterizes litigant access to intermediate appellate courts.
Daniel B. Rodriguez
The central objective of administrative law is to reconcile two major aims: the successful exercise of regulatory power by the bureaucracy and the tethering of administrative agencies to the rule of law. The first goal is concerned fundamentally with regulatory governance; the second is concerned with legality. Administrative regulation through specialized agencies is a ubiquitous and rather permanent characteristic of modern policy making. These agencies wield enormous power and, although their respective architectures are arguably in tension with our bedrock constitutional principles of separation of powers and representative democracy, the administrative state seems rather entrenched. This article deals with administrative law and describes the leading effort to tie together the law and politics of administration through the use of positive political theory. It also discusses the dilemmas of regulatory administration and, therefore, of administrative law: delegation, discretion, fairness, and regulatory unreasonableness.
Claude Steele and Jennifer Richeson
There are multiple possible views of the Black American psyche. But in the science that focuses on the psyche, the science of psychology, there has really been only variants of one view: the Black psyche is “damaged” to use Daryl Scott's term, in deficit, dominated by self-hatred, infected with self-destructive values and habits of mind, a double consciousness divided against itself, replete with cognitive, linguistic, and emotional deficiencies, and so on. This narrowness of perspective, as reflected in this article, is not restricted to psychology. It is a long evolved cultural framework. Much of the research that has focused squarely on blacks' experiences has examined the potential psychological toll that membership in a socially devalued group may take on black Americans. Although this research is undoubtedly important and informative, it is a perspective that is overrepresented compared with work examining the resilience and strength of blacks and members of other socially devalued groups in the face of group-level devaluation.
Ryan J. Owens and James Sieja
Understanding the conditions under which the Supreme Court sets its agenda is crucial to understanding Supreme Court behavior. After all, before the justices make any decision on the merits of a case, they must first decide whether to hear it at all. This chapter analyzes Supreme Court agenda-setting. It begins by describing the process justices employ to select cases to review. It examines how parties file certiorari petitions, the certiorari pool used to provide guidance to the justices, and the conferences in which justices vote to grant or deny review to cert petitions. The chapter then discusses four explanations political scientists have provided to explain the conditions under which justices set the agenda. The article concludes by examining limitations of existing scholarship and providing suggestions for future scholarship.
John R. Wallach
This essay discusses the contribution of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue (1981) to a generation of moral theory. Pitched as a critique of liberal individualism (e.g., Rawls), modernity (e.g., amoral bureaucracies), and the antagonism toward the history of moral theory evinced by analytical philosophers, MacIntyre’s book urges a return toward moral traditions embedded in local communities as the best route to avoid what he regards as the soullessness of modernity and the abyss of Nietzschean philosophy. But his failure to reflect on the political valence of traditions in general or the Aristotelian and Thomist ones he values, seriously compromises his complaints about modernity and his suggestions for ways out.
Lawrence D. Bobo
The question of race lies at the heart of one of the great debates of American ideas and scholarly discourse. At one end of this debate we can find those who argue for the American Liberal Tradition. At its core this position maintains that American institutions, values, and culture are deeply liberal. As such, the nation is destined to adopt a broadly expansive and inclusive sense of who belongs and is worthy of respect. Under this perspective, the United States will eventually and inevitably transcend the divisions of race and black–white inequality that marred the nation's founding, arriving ultimately at a place of full comity between blacks and whites. Several variants and exemplars of the argument exist. For example, sociologist Nathan Glazer made the case for one prominent version of this argument that he termed “the American ethnic pattern.” This view has three core claims. First, that people from the world over would be allowed to enter the United States. And, furthermore, that “all citizens would have equal rights. No group would be considered subordinate to another.” Second, that the government would not extend formal and distinctive political recognition and rights to separate ethnic groups. Third, however, that no ethnic group would be compelled to give up its distinctive cultural traditions and practices.
Michael A. Bailey, Forrest Maltzman, and Charles R. Shipan
The relationship between Congress and the judiciary is a complex one that is poorly defined or understood. This ambiguity in the relationship is the result of the failure of the Constitution to define what legal doctrines must shape judicial decision-making or whether the judiciary has the authority to strike the acts of Congress. Whereas the relationship between Congress and the executive is well-defined in the Constitution, the relationship between Congress and the courts was left by the founders to be defined by history. In addition to the Constitution's ambiguity in defining the relationship of Congress and the judiciary, the ambiguity also stems from several factors: the relationship has changed over time; modern accounts of the relationship have produced theoretical claims that are difficult to validate; and the multiple dimensions of the interdependence of the two institutions makes it hard to determine whether Congress is constrained by law and whether the Court is constrained by Congress. This article discusses the evolution of constitutional interpretation. It discusses Congress's abandonment of its role as an interpreter of the Constitution and the emergence of the federal judiciary as a venue for policymaking. The article also discusses congressional response to the Court. It discusses legislative anticipation of judicial review, congressional assertiveness in the nomination process, and congressional reaction to hostile Court activity. The article also discusses judicial anticipation of congressional review.
Lewis A. Kornhauser
Many analyses of courts within the economic analysis of law are indistinguishable from those produced by positive political theorists; they consider how judges control, exploit, or resolve conflicts of interest among judges. This article considers three contributions by economic analysts of law outside this common, positive, political theoretic model but which still exploit the tools of rational-choice theory. These contributions either integrate appellate decisio -making within a more comprehensive model of litigant and trial behavior; assume that judges constitute a team with shared preferences; or assume that judges decide cases rather than announce or implement policies. These three elements yield a substantively different understanding of courts than the standard model of positive political theory (PPT). The assumption of shared preferences explicitly rejects the principal-agent model that is standard in PPT. The integration of appellate decision making with other aspects of the disputing process and the shift from policies to cases are consistent with, but potentially transformative of, the standard principal-agent models of adjudication.
Peter M. Shane
This article looks at constitutions. The status and function of constitutions are discussed in the first section of the chapter. It then discusses implementing key founding bargains and structuring the exercise of power. The next sections talk about creating affirmative government obligations, constitutional interpretation and change, the modes of argument, and interpretation and legitimacy. The article ends with several directions for future research on the subject.