Tuesday, August 05, 2014

2014 Constitution Day Lecture, Western Connecticut State University

On September 17, I will be giving the Constitution Day Lecture at Western Connecticut State University, titled "Our Many American Constitutions: Same-Sex Marriage and the Struggle for Social Reform."  The talk is at 6 p.m. in Room 125 of the Science Building on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury, CT.  For more information, call (203) 837-9406.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Law & Politics Book Review on Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights

In the Law & Politics Book Review, Philip A. Dynia of Loyola University New Orleans writes:


 "The state same-sex marriage cases offer lessons about the capacities of state courts to bring about dramatic policy changes (lessons that Hume derives from solid research and skillful analysis of existing and his own original data). In addition, Hume offers a plausible argument that state courts were the catalysts that made same-sex marriage possible....


"In retirement, Justice John Paul Stevens has been an active commentator and book reviewer. But the late Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. also comes to mind. Brennan (who was elevated to the Supreme Court from New Jersey’s high court), facing a Supreme Court growing increasingly conservative in the 1970s, famously advised liberal interest groups to turn to litigation in state courts (Brennan 1977). One wonders how Brennan would respond to Hume’s many insights into the promise ‒ and perils ‒ of such a course." 


You can read the full review here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What's Next for Same-Sex Marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court?

What's next for same-sex marriage after the landmark decisions this week at the U.S. Supreme Court?  See my comments  on the OUPblog

Here is an excerpt:  "The Supreme Court may not have given same-sex couples the full victory they wanted, but the movement is far from over. The state constitutional amendments that washed over the country in the past decade can be washed away just as quickly, as LGBT public interest groups take advantage of initiative amendment procedures that have previously worked to oppress them. With public opinion now shifting, it is time to turn the tide."

My new book, Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States, is available at Oxford University Press.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

March/April 2013 Issue of Judicature

I am appearing in the March/April 2013 issue of Judicature, in a review essay of Electing Judges: The Surprising Effects of Campaigning on Judicial Legitimacy. In the essay, titled "Legitimacy, Yes, But at What Cost," I draw upon insights from my recent book, Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States, concluding, "Many citizens might prefer to have judges accountable to them, but I am concerned about the tradeoff between accountability and counter-majoritarianism. Among our national institutions, only the federal judiciary has retained its original counter-majoritarian character. If all judges were elected, who would be left to stand up for minority rights?" Read more in Judicature!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Now Available


I am very excited to announce the release of my new book, Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States.  In the book I examine how the democratization of state courts and state constitutional systems has influenced the capacity of judges to protect minority rights. Through an intensive examination of same-sex marriage policy, I show that democratic innovations like judicial elections and initiative amendment procedures have conditioned the impact of judges on state marriage laws. Using a combination of original and publicly available data, I demonstrate that "courthouse democracy" has influenced the behavior of state judges, the reactions of the public to state court decisions, and the long-term policy consequences of these decisions, including the passage of state constitutional amendments. I conclude that judges will be capable of producing meaningful social change-and protecting minority rights-only when they have the institutional resources that they need to stand against popular opinion.
 

Features

  • Provides a clear engaging background about recent same-sex marriage cases and theories of judicial impact, making it appropriate to assign in undergraduate courses.
  • Assesses the impact of state courts using cutting edge data analysis. The results are presented clearly, in ways that will be accessible to non-experts.
  • Focuses on same-sex marriage, one of the most important policy areas of the present day.
  • Includes numerous tables with statistics about the same-sex marriage cases, which readers will be able to incorporate into their own teaching and research.

Product Details

230 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-998217-2ISBN10: 0-19-998217-1
 
 
For more information, please visit Oxford University Press's website, or click here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights

My second book, Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States, is under contract at Oxford University Press. It is due for release in the summer of 2013.

Here is a brief description:

In Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States, Robert J. Hume examines how the democratization of state courts and state constitutional systems has influenced the capacity of state judges to protect minority rights. Through an intensive examination of same-sex marriage policy, Hume shows that democratic innovations like judicial elections and initiative amendment procedures have conditioned the impact of judges on state marriage laws. Using a combination of original and publicly available data, Hume demonstrates that “courthouse democracy” has influenced the behavior of state judges, the reactions of the public to state court decisions, and the long-term policy consequences of these decisions, including the passage of state constitutional amendments. Hume concludes that judges will be capable of producing meaningful social change—and protecting minority rights—only when they have the institutional resources they need to stand against popular opinion.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2010 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award

I was very pleased to learn that my book, How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior, is a recipient of a 2010 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in "Professional Studies."

Click here for the official announcement from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities:

"The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society proudly announce the 2010 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award winners in the category of "Professional Studies." Forty-two entries from sixteen Jesuit institutions were submitted. The category of “Professional Studies” awards prizes to the top four books."

"The Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards are open to all faculty and administrators, including emeritus faculty and administrators, who have published a book in the three years immediately prior to the year of the designated academic discipline. The books are judged by volunteer faculty members on the basis of scholarship, significance of topic to scholars across several disciplines, authority in interpretation, objectivity, presentation, and style."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Book is Out

My book is now available from Routledge press. You can order it through amazon or by purchasing it directly from the publisher (click the title):

What impact do federal courts have on the administrative agencies of the federal government? How do agencies react to the decisions of federal courts? My book takes up these questions by examining the responses of federal agencies to the U.S. Courts of Appeals, revealing what happens inside agencies after courts rule against them. I use an original database to examine whether judicial opinions systematically influence administrative behavior, including whether agencies file certiorari petitions following adverse decisions, the amount of policy change they enact and the timing of their responses, and whether administrators cite circuit court decisions as precedent in subsequent proceedings. I also draw upon dozens of interviews with current and former administrators, taking readers behind the scenes of these organizations to reveal their internal procedures, their attitudes about courts, and their capacity to be influenced by a judge’s choice of words.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Inside Fordham

Thanks to Patrick Verel (Inside Fordham) for this nice article about my research.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter 2008

New baby pictures have been added to the Family and Friends section. Keeping checking back for more updates.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new semester at Fordham. I have updated the course descriptions so they are current through the Fall of 2007.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Southern 2007

On January 6, I presented "Legal Goals and the Transmission of Circuit Court Precedents: Lessons from Federal Administrative Decisions" at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in New Orleans, LA.

Here is the abstract:

This study examines the transmission of routine precedents among federal circuit court judges, focusing especially on immigration cases. It is hypothesized that judges send signals in their opinions that affect whether other judges cite them, and that these signals matter because judges care about legal goals. The results indicate that legal signals do affect citation patterns, but that judges are also responsive to ideology, the importance of precedents, and the behavior of neighboring and expert circuits.