Impartial Justice

Impartial Justice : The Real Supreme Court Cases That Define the Constitutional Right to a Neutral and Detached Decisionmaker

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This book discusses the Constitutional right to a neutral decisionmaker, focusing on U.S. Supreme Court cases on the Sixth Amendment guarantee to a jury in criminal cases and to the due process requirements of an impartial judge and a neutral decisionmaker in quasi-judicial contexts. The work explores how these rights have evolved, and it critically examines relevant Court cases.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739177214
  • 9780739177211

Review quote

The word "disinterested" has multiple meanings. Although "apathetic" or "unenthusiastic" may be the first definitions that come to mind, in a juridical context the notion of "disinterest" is positive, a guarantee that the decision maker in a dispute is unbiased and not slanting rulings or playing favorites. Without this virtuous form of disinterest, a truly just system of dispute resolution is not possible. Kasper, who also serves as a municipal judge, has written a multifaceted study of the various settings in which impartiality is a core value in Anglo-American law. After a brief introduction tracking the evolution of impartiality from the 1215 adoption of the Magna Carta, Kasper explores the concept of unbiased decision making by juries, judges, and quasi-judicial actors or bodies. The next 13 chapters are organized as examinations of forums for impartiality--some examples are "death-qualified" juries, judges with financial stakes in the outcomes of cases, and medical license reviews--each viewed through the prism of a specific US Supreme Court decision. Kasper's accounts of the cases avoid jargon and are thus highly readable as well as interesting and informative. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. CHOICE Without due process and impartial adjudication, none of our constitutional liberties could be secure. Yet the imperative importance of such rights is not considered as often as it should be. Eric Kasper's engaging and important Impartial Justice provides an excellent remedy to this situation. After tracing the historical development of the concept of due process, Kasper-a noted scholar as well as a municipal judge-presents a host of noteworthy and telling case studies that illuminate the importance of due process and impartial justice, while also showing how these foundational principles can be disturbingly denied in practice. Well-written and instructive, Impartial Justice is a great place to learn about these core principles, and, equally important, what it takes to secure them in the real world. -- Donald Alexander Downs, Alexander Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science, Law, and Journalism, University of Wisconsin, Madison This is an exceedingly timely book given high profile cases such as the Newtown and Aurora shootings, Guantanamo habeus corpus petitions, and Wall Street financial corruption. In the United States, all have a right to fair judicial proceedings no matter the rage and vitriol of the public or the press. Kasper's compelling examples and argument remind us why fair judicial proceedings are as crucial to our constitutional democracy today as they were at the American Founding. -- John Evans, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
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About Eric T. Kasper

Eric T. Kasper is an associate professor of political science for the University of Wisconsin Colleges and serves as the municipal judge in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife Julie and their two children, Madison and Jackson. This is his third book, having previously written Don't Stop Thinking About the Music: The Politics of Songs and Musicians in Presidential Campaigns (with Benjamin Schoening) and To Secure the Liberty of the People: James Madison's Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court's Interpretation.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements Preface Introduction: A Short History of What It Means to Be a Neutral, Impartial, and Unbiased Decisionmaker Part One: An Impartial Jury Trial in Criminal Cases 1. Prejudicial Pretrial Publicity: Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966) 2. Avoiding Mob Justice: Frank v. Mangum (1915) and Moore v. Dempsey (1923) 3. Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection: Batson v. Kentucky (1986) and Miller-El v. Dretke (2005) 4. Sex Discrimination in Jury Selection: Hoyt v. Florida (1961) and Taylor v. Louisiana (1975) 5. Death-Qualified Juries: Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968) and Lockhart v. McCree (1986) Part Two: Due Process and the Right to an Impartial Judge 6. Mayor-Judges with a Financial Stake in the Outcome: Tumey v. Ohio (1927) and Ward v. Village of Monroeville (1972) 7. A Judge Hearing a Contempt Proceeding after Being Vilified by the Defendant: Mayberry v. Pennsylvania (1971) 8. Non-Lawyer Judges: North v. Russell (1976) 9. The Judge Who Was Bribed in Other Cases: Bracy v. Gramley (1997) 10. A Judge Deciding a Case Involving a Major Campaign Supporter: Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. (2009) Part Three: Due Process and the Right to an Impartial Decisionmaker in Quasi-Judicial, Non-Court Settings 11. Parole Revocation: Morrissey v. Brewer (1972) 12. Medical License Review: Withrow v. Larkin (1975) 13. Mental Health Commitments for Juveniles: Parham v. J.R. (1979) 14. Prison Discipline: Edwards v. Balisok (1997) 15. Enemy Combatant Cases: Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) Conclusions Catalog of Cases Bibliography Index
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