De Muniz highlights state judiciary

by Adam Torgerson,

  • Paul De Muniz JD'75

Among the proliferation of books focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts, authors Paul J. De Muniz JD’75 and Michael Buenger explore in “American Judicial Power: The State Court Perspective” the unique, crucial and, often, unrecognized, role that state courts play in governance and the administration of justice in America.

De Muniz and Buenger have a wealth of scholarly and professional experience dealing with state judicial issues. De Muniz is a Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the Willamette University College of Law, and his prolific career includes serving as Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Buenger is a doctoral candidate at Brussels School of International Studies and Of-Counsel for the National Center for State Courts.

“In the same sense that ‘All politics are local politics,’ the state court’s perspective is often overlooked among scholarly texts, which tend to focus on the federal judiciary,” says De Muniz. “‘American Judicial Power’ highlights the important role of state courts and their history — as well as contemporary challenges and opportunities facing overburdened state courts and legislatures.”

Leading constitutional scholar and law professor Sanford Levinson offers a comparison between state and federal caseload. Of the 1.8 million federal cases in 2012, 1.37 million were bankruptcies; during the same time, state courts handled nearly 96 million cases.

In the forward for “American Judicial Power,” Levinson writes, “Anyone concerned about the future of our country, or, for that matter, anyone who is asked to opine on how some country elsewhere should design its judicial system in the course of writing a new constitution, should become aware of the issues so well delineated by Buenger and De Muniz.”

Learn more about the book and download the first chapter on the publisher’s website: elgaronline.com/view/9781783477890.xml.