The role and power of state chief justices in and out of the courtroom
Administering Justice examines the leadership role of chief justices in the American states, including how those duties require chief justices to be part of the broader state political environment. Vining and Wilhelm focus extensively on the power of chief justices as public spokespersons, legislative liaisons, and reform leaders. In contrast to much existing research on chief justices in the states, this study weighs their extrajudicial responsibilities rather than intracourt leadership. By assessing the content of State of the Judiciary remarks delivered over a period of sixty years, Vining and Wilhelm are able to analyze the reform agendas advanced by chief justices and determine what factors influence the likelihood of success. These analyses confirm that chief justices engage with state politics in meaningful ways and that reactions to their proposals are influenced by ideological congruence with other political elites and the scope of their requests. Administering Justice also examines the chief justice position as an institution, provides a collective profile of its occupants, and surveys growing diversity among court leaders.
Richard L. Vining Jr. is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia.
Teena Wilhelm is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia.
“Blending incisive theoretical foundations, impressive original data, and rich descriptive insight, Administering Justice is a tour de force on the role chief justices play in state politics. It is a must-read for anyone interested in courts and state politics, but also offers broader insight into political leadership and institutional performance.”- Greg Goelzhauser
—Greg Goelzhauser, Utah State University
“Vining and Wilhelm have written a true piece of comparative political research, shedding new light on an understudied topic in American courts—judicial leadership—and leverage the diversity of institutional rules and norms to show how they shape leadership on our state high courts. A must-read for state court scholars.”- Mikel A. Norris
—Mikel A. Norris, Coastal Carolina University
“. . . contributes significantly to our understanding of the role chief justices play in state judicial systems, leveraging a mix of rich qualitative examples with larger-n analyses.”- Eve Ringsmuth
—Eve Ringsmuth, Oklahoma State University
“In a very clear manner, and building upon pertinent existing literature, the authors provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding and picture of the work of chief justices.”- Gbemende Johnson
—Gbemende Johnson, University of Georgia