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The Judicial Power of the PurseHow Courts Fund National Defense in Times of Crisis$
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Nancy Staudt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226771120

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226771151.001.0001

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The Judicial Understanding of Costly Foreign Policy Events

The Judicial Understanding of Costly Foreign Policy Events

(p.109) Four The Judicial Understanding of Costly Foreign Policy Events
The Judicial Power of the Purse
University of Chicago Press

This chapter turns to qualitative evidence found in judicial opinions, courtroom filings, and law clerks' memoranda. It is observed that judges are aware of the high financial costs of war and eagerly use their decision-making powers to enable the nation to purchase increasing levels of defense, but only when it appears necessary for success on the battlefield. Thus, the justices sought to expand the fisc before and after the cold war period, but systematically attempted to pinch the fisc during the cold war in the absence of spikes in defense spending. Courts were in a position to impose costs on the government and fully recognize these costs could have an effect on military strategizing and eventual success. The qualitative evidence and the courtroom commentary further supported the information theory of crisis jurisprudence, illustrating the theory provides a credible and realistic account of judicial behavior.

Keywords:   judges, fisc, cold war, defense, judicial opinions, courtroom filings, crisis jurisprudence

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