Court decisions-law and public policy

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For the Discussion this week, you explored how federal judges’ political ideologies impact judicial outcomes. In this Application Assignment, you go a step further by looking at how court decisions impact law and public policy. In doing so, it is important to keep in mind that the president and legislators make public policy, not the courts. Yet the courts have the authority to interpret what the law means through court decisions. The authority to interpret the law provides the courts with a lasting influence on law and public policy.


To prepare for this assignment:


  • Review the assigned pages in Chapter 6 of the course text, Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy and Chapter 10 in the course text, Administrative Law and Politics: Cases and Comments. Consider the influence of the courts on law and policy.
  • Review the article, “Boston University School of Law Merck KGaA v. Integra Life Sciences I, Ltd: Implications of the Supreme Court’s Decision for the People Who Matter Most… the Consumer.” Reflect on the decision made in this particular case. Consider the impact of the court’s decision on the pharmaceutical industry and the public at large (consumer).
  • Using the Walden Library or the Internet, select and research a public policy that has been affected by a court decision and consider the impact on the public policy and any laws. Also consider how any laws related to the policy have been affected.
  • Reflect on the degree to which you think courts should impact law and policy.


The assignment: (1–2 pages)


  • Briefly describe the policy you selected and the court decision.
  • Explain the impact of the court decision on the public policy and any laws related to the policy. Be specific.
  • Explain the degree to which you think courts should impact law and public policy. Justify your explanation with academic references.


Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course









·         Optional Resources




·         Web Site: Caperton et al. v A. T. Massey Coal Co., Inc., et al.





·         Web Site: Methods of Judicial Selection





·         Web Site: Our Government–Judicial Branch


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