The Supreme Court and the Development of Law (PDF) illuminates the decision-making processes of the US Supreme court through an examination of numerous prisoners’ rights cases. In 1964, the Supreme Court rejected to hear prisoners’ rights about religious freedom. In 2014, the Supreme Court heard a case that headed to the justices’ unanimous support of a Muslim inmate’s religious right to grow a beard in spite of objections from prison officials. In the fifty-year time between those two events, the Supreme Court developed the law regarding rights for imprisoned offenders. As demonstrated in this ebook, the factors that mold Supreme Court decision-making is well-illustrated by prisoners’ rights cases.
This sphere of law illuminates competing approaches to constitutional interpretation, behind-the-scenes communications among the justices, and the management of legal precedents. Outside actors also affect the Supreme Court and its decisions when the president hires new justices and Congress aims the judiciary with legislative enactments. Because of the provocative nature of prisoners’ rights issues, these cases serve to illuminate the full range of influences over Supreme Court decision making.
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