The Hollow Hope
Can Courts Bring About Social Change? Second Edition
Finding that the answer is still a resounding no, Rosenberg reaffirms his powerful contention that it’s nearly impossible to generate significant reforms through litigation. The reason? American courts are ineffective and relatively weak—far from the uniquely powerful sources for change they’re often portrayed as. Rosenberg supports this claim by documenting the direct and secondary effects of key court decisions—particularly Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. He reveals, for example, that Congress, the White House, and a determined civil rights movement did far more than Brown to advance desegregation, while pro-choice activists invested too much in Roe at the expense of political mobilization. Further illuminating these cases, as well as the ongoing fight for same-sex marriage rights, Rosenberg also marshals impressive evidence to overturn the common assumption that even unsuccessful litigation can advance a cause by raising its profile.
Directly addressing its critics in a new conclusion, The Hollow Hope, Second Edition promises to reignite for a new generation the national debate it sparked seventeen years ago.
The University of Chicago Press: Gordon J. Laing Award
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
1. The Dynamic and the Constrained Court
Part 1 · Civil Rights
2. Bound for Glory? Brown and the Civil Rights Revolution
3. Constraints, Conditions, and the Courts
4. Planting the Seeds of Progress?
5. The Current of History
Part 2 · Abortion and Women’s Rights
6. Transforming Women’s Lives? The Courts and Abortion
7. Liberating Women? The Courts and Women’s Rights
8. The Court as Catalyst?
9. The Tide of History
Part 3 · The Environment, Reapportionment, and Criminal Law
10. Cleaning House? The Courts, the Environment, and Reapportionment
11. Judicial Revolution? Litigation to Reform the Criminal Law
Part 4 · Same-Sex Marriage
12. You’ve Got That Loving Feeling? The Litigation Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage
13. Confusing Rights with Reality: Litigation for Same-Sex Marriage and the Counter-Mobilization of Law
14. Conclusion: The Fly-Paper Court
1. Black Children in Elementary and Secondary School with Whites: 1954–72
2. Blacks at Predominantly White Public Colleges and Universities
3. Black Voter Registration in the Southern States: Pre- and Post-Voting Rights Act
4. Laws and Actions Designed to Preserve Segregation
5. Method for Obtaining Information for Table 4.1 and Figure 4.1
6. Illegal Abortions
7. Method for Obtaining Information for Tables 8.1A, 8.1B, 8.2A, and 8.2B, and for Figures 8.1 and 8.2
8. Coding Rules and Methods for Obtaining Information for Tables 13.3, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, and 13.7