About Me

Robert J. Hume is a Professor of Political Science at Fordham University and is currently serving as the Chair of the Political Science Department. Dr. Hume has degrees from the College of the Holy Cross (B.A.) and the University of Virginia (M.A., Ph.D.). He is the author of three books on law and policy: How Courts Impact Federal Administrative Behavior (Routledge 2009, winner of the 2010 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in Professional Studies), Courthouse Democracy and Minority Rights: Same-Sex Marriage in the States (Oxford University Press 2013), and Ethics and Accountability on the U.S. Supreme Court: An Analysis of Recusal Practices (Fall 2017, SUNY Press). He has published in American Politics Research, the Law & Society Review, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Justice System Journal, and Publius. His textbook, Judicial Behavior and Policymaking: An Introduction (Rowman & Littlefield), is expected in January 2018.

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.


  • 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.

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