New book examines obligations of Supreme Court Justices in constitutional rights disputes

March 9, 2011

Losing Twice holds Justices accountable to losing parties"For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience."- Ingrid Bengis Boulder –  In her new book, University of Colorado Law Professor Emily Calhoun examines the obligations of Supreme Court Justices to losing parties in constitutional rights disputes.Available March 9 from Oxford University Press, Losing Twice argues that Justices have an obligation to avoid and ameliorate harm to citizens whose arguments about constitutional meaning are rejected.  Building on that straightforward proposition, Calhoun shows how the Justices’ failure to satisfy their obligation inflicts unjust harm on constitutional losers.  She moves beyond tired debates about judicial activism to construct a novel legal framework for evaluating the legitimacy of the work of Supreme Court Justices.As one reviewer notes, Losing Twice is “original, thought-provoking, and powerfully crafted.”  Calhoun “sets about disarming ideologues of all stripes to propose a new, transformative approach to judging.  Whether you agree or disagree, Losing Twice will change the way you view the adversarial process.”Losing Twice draws on insights from many academic disciplines, but it is directed at a general readership as well as academic audiences.  It examines real-world constitutional rights disputes using language and concepts that will help any reader better understand why the Justices’ resolutions of abortion, gay rights, and racial discrimination disputes can provoke such outrage.   Extensive bibliographic essays are targeted at academics who wish to delve more deeply into the book’s arguments.With this book, Calhoun reminds us of the relationship that ought to exist among members of a political community committed to equality and government-by-consent.  She questions assertions that Justices should be thought of as umpires in an athletic contest or as mere elite, legal technicians.  Losing Twice offers readers a new and citizen-empowering test of judicial legitimacy. University of Colorado Law SchoolThe University of Colorado Law School (www.colorado.edu/law) was established in 1892 and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, organized in 1901. The school has been on the American Bar Association's list of approved law schools since its first publication in 1923. Colorado Law advances the mission of the University and the greater legal community: through teaching, to employ robust theoretical inquiry, doctrinal and policy analysis, and professional skills and to integrate interdisciplinary study opportunities; through scholarship, to develop and test new ideas and approaches, to challenge the status quo, and to convey our research and ideas; and through public service, to contribute our time and talents in pursuit of our mission and to instill in our students an awareness of a lawyer’s civic responsibilities and opportunities to serve and lead. With its favorable faculty-to-student ratio, stellar bar-passage rate, outstanding student- and faculty profile, and low tuition cost, the University of Colorado Law School is one of the top law schools in the nation and the only public law school in Colorado.  # # #