By Kirk A Randazzo
Examines the severe function assumed by way of the U.S. judiciary in balancing issues approximately nationwide protection with the safety of liberty after the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11.
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Additional info for Defenders of Liberty or Champions of Security?: Federal Courts, the Hierarchy of Justice, and U.S. Foreign Policy
While the cutoff points in the timeline are somewhat arbitrary, a rationale exists for this choice. The sequence begins in 1946, a year in which the United States (as one of two international superpowers) transitioned from World War II to the Cold War and reorganized some of its bureaucratic agencies accordingly—most notably the foreign policy and intelligence-gathering agencies. Additionally, with the creation of the United Nations the international system entered into a new era, with nations becoming increasingly interdependent.
Cases for this analysis were identified using a Lexis-Nexis keyword search. I retrieved numerous cases for each federal judicial level using the following issues as keywords: foreign policy, foreign affairs, national security, national defense, war powers, military, immigration, international law, treaties, ambassadors, and diplomacy. Initially, I identified approximately 10,000 cases each for the district courts Individual Examinations 29 and the courts of appeals and 400 cases for the Supreme Court.
18 The variable Lower Court Directionality measures the case disposition by the previous judicial entity. The variable is coded 1 if the lower court ruled in favor of foreign affairs interests, 2 if the court rendered a mixed decision (both for and against governmental interests), and 3 if the court ruled in favor of civil liberties. Theoretical expectations indicate the courts of appeals will be more likely to affirm a lower court ruling and the Supreme Court more likely to reverse the lower court ruling.