Levin College of Law
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Judicial Process, Judicial Ethics, and Judicial Legitimacy

Course Number: LAW 6936 Credits: 2

Positive public perception of the judiciary’s role in American political life is indispensable to the effectiveness of the judicial branch in our pluralistic democracy. Indeed, this shared confidence is the very source of judicial legitimacy, the sine qua non of our judge-centered common law system. We expect our judges to follow established processes and ethical rules in order to perform their ostensibly impartial role in our legal system, whether at the local, state, or federal level. In this seminar we will draw on court opinions, the media (including social media as well as film and television depictions), and scholarly debate to examine how – historically and in our current, politically polarized moment – the judicial branch of our government seeks to achieve and maintain legitimacy.