Rise of Judicial Management in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, 1955-2000
This is the first book-length study of a federal district court to analyze the revolutionary changes in its mission, structure, policies, and procedures over the past four decades. As Steven Harmon Wilson chronicles the court's attempts to keep pace with an expanding, diversifying caseload, he situates those efforts within the social, cultural, and political expectations that have prompted the increase in judicial seats from four in 1955 to the current nineteen.
Federal judges have progressed from being simply referees of legal disputes to managers of expanding courts, dockets, and staffs, says Wilson. The Southern District of Texas offers an especially instructive model by which to study this transformation. Not only does it contain a varied population of Hispanics, African Americans, and whites, but its jurisdiction includes an international border and some of the busiest seaports in the United States. Wilson identifies three areas of judicial management in which the shift has most clearly manifested itself. Through docket and case management judges have attempted to rationalize the flow of work through the litigation process. Lastly, and most controversially, judges have sought to bring "constitutionally flawed" institutions into compliance through "structural reform" rulings in areas such as housing, education, employment, and voting.
Wilson draws on sources ranging from judicial biography and oral-history interviews to case files, published opinions, and administrative memoranda. Blending legal history with social science, this important new study ponders the changing meaning of federal judgeship as it shows how judicial management has both helped and hindered the resolution of legal conflicts and the protection of civil rights.
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in these developments by the federal trial judges, staffers, lawyers, plaintiffs, and defendants who participated in the history of the Southern District of ...
... and the changing nature of the judicial service sought by politicians or plaintiffs, led to the multiplication of supporting personnel, which in turn ...
... while presiding over the brief case: he listened to witness testimony, considered the lawyers' arguments, and found in favor of the plaintiff parents.
The Houston plaintiffs called upon Judge Connally to formulate, and over the course of the subsequent fifteen years periodically to reformulate, ...
Another distinction between these two cases—and the critical difference that explains the disparate reliance on Brown—was the race of the plaintiff parents.
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