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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years, scholars have begun to employ a more robust historical institutional perspective when studying law and courts. Central features of this perspective include a focus on the role that legal actors play in policy implementation and reform, attention to the ways private litigation is used in lieu of traditional bureaucratic enforcement, and a much more nuanced account of legal change. Working from this perspective, scholars increasingly approach the judiciary as a distinct institution in its own right that has played a significant role in the trajectory of American state-building, rather than simply an agent of the elected branches.

Keywords: law, courts, judiciary, state-building, American political development

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