The Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) is a collaborative effort between Syracuse University's College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. IJPM is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics, and the media. The institute sponsors lectures, conferences, and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate between legal scholars, sitting judges, and working journalists. The institute provides research grants and seed money for scholars pursuing law-oriented projects that cut across traditional academic boundaries. The institute also oversees a cross-disciplinary graduate certificate program organized around a team-taught course offerings. To learn more about IJPM and its activities, please visit

Table of Contents

Law in the Age of Media Logic: An Introduction

Bryna Bogoch, Bar-Ilan University - Interdisciplinary Department of Social Studies
Keith J. Bybee, Syracuse University - College of Law, Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Yifat Holzman-Gazit, College of Management (Israel) - School of Law
Anat Peleg, Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Celebrity Justice and Gossip Blogs: Demographic Characteristics of Victimized and Allegedly Criminal Celebrities Featured on Top Gossip Blogs

Carmen M. Cusack, Nova Southeastern University

Governing and Deciding Who Governs

Josh Chafetz, Cornell Law School

Sponsored by Institute for the Study of the Judiciary,
Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University

"Law in the Age of Media Logic: An Introduction" Free Download
Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2014

BRYNA BOGOCH, Bar-Ilan University - Interdisciplinary Department of Social Studies
KEITH J. BYBEE, Syracuse University - College of Law, Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
YIFAT HOLZMAN-GAZIT, College of Management (Israel) - School of Law
ANAT PELEG, Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

English Abstract: The eleven papers in this volume address a range of theoretical and empirical issues examined at the Oñati workshop, "Law in the Age of Media Logic." Several papers explore the politicization of the media's reporting of the Courts and of judicial nominations, and consider how this reporting affects public support of the judiciary in different countries, including Israel, the United States, and Canada. Several other papers assess the "trials by media" that play out in the coverage of the criminal justice system. These papers consider a number of topics, including the criminalization of firearms litigation, the tension between a free press and fair trials, and the social media depictions of criminal justice. Finally, several papers analyze the judiciary's public relations strategies, and examine the various institutional changes that shape the public image of legal systems today.

Spanish Abstract: Los once artículos de este número abordan diversas cuestiones teóricas y empíricas tratadas en el workshop de Oñati, “Law in the Age of Media Logic?. Algunos artículos analizan la politización de los medios de comunicación cuando hablan de los tribunales y los nombramientos judiciales, y consideran cómo esta cobertura afecta al apoyo público del sistema judicial en diferentes países, como Israel, Estados Unidos o Canadá. Otros artículos evalúan los “juicios mediáticos? que se llevan a cabo en la cobertura del sistema judicial penal. Estos artículos tienen en cuenta temas como la criminalización de los litigios por armas de fuego, la tensión entre la libertad de prensa y los juicios justos, y la representación de la justicia penal que realizan los medios de comunicación social, y analizan los diferentes cambio institucionales que dan forma a la imagen pública de los sistemas legales hoy en día.

"Celebrity Justice and Gossip Blogs: Demographic Characteristics of Victimized and Allegedly Criminal Celebrities Featured on Top Gossip Blogs" Free Download
J L & Soc Deviance 5, 244, 2013

CARMEN M. CUSACK, Nova Southeastern University

In the song “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,? the band Good Charlotte articulates the problem with society’s fascination with celebrities involved in the criminal justice system. Good Charlotte sings: Always see it on T.V. or read it in the magazines, celebrities want sympathy. All they do is piss and moan inside the Rolling Stone, talking about how hard life can be. I'd like to see them spend a week living life out on the street. I don't think they would survive, if they could spend a day or two walking in someone else's shoes. I think they'd stumble and they'd fall...Lifestyles of the rich and the famous...Well, did you know when you were famous you could kill your wife and there's no such thing as 25 to life? As long as you've got the cash, to pay for Cochran; and did you know if you were caught and you were smoking could always just run for mayor of D.C.

This paper neither defends, nor denies Good Charlotte’s perspective. Instead, this paper asks: Who are the subjects of these T.V./magazine stories? Once this question is answered, this article asks: What significance the answer could have for celebrity justice; the effect of the press and public opinion on the criminal justice system; and the criminal justice system on the press and public opinion; the effect of society, media, and the criminal justice system on celebrity; and the effect of celebrity criminality or celebrity justice on crime.

This article relies on law review articles and original research on celebrity blogs between the years 2008 and 2013. Section II reviews the concepts of celebrity justice and jury bias towards certain demographic characteristics that could relate to the perceived phenomenon of celebrity justice and media coverage of criminal cases involving celebrities. Section III discusses the methods used to sample data from four top celebrity gossip blogs. This section also presents findings on the gender, race, and occupation of the most widely covered celebrities involved in criminal cases, sampled in the collected data. Section IV questions the purpose and effects of these celebrity demographics, and proposes new research questions. These new suggested angles should be investigated in order to formulate the fullest picture of the interplay between media, criminal justice, society, and celebrities. The article concludes by summarizing the practical and potential importance of understanding which demographic of celebrities celebrity bloggers commonly identify as victims and perpetrators of crimes.

"Governing and Deciding Who Governs" Free Download
University of Chicago Legal Forum, 2015, Forthcoming

JOSH CHAFETZ, Cornell Law School

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that, "Campaign finance restrictions that pursue other objectives [than eradicating quid pro quo corruption or its appearance], we have explained, impermissibly inject the Government 'into the debate over who should govern.' And those who govern should be the last people to help decide who should govern."

This passage sounds great — after all, who could object to an attempt to purge official self-dealing, especially in the election-law context? And therein lies its insidiousness: this rousing language masks a programmatic attempt by Roberts and his colleagues to distance themselves rhetorically from the structures and processes of governance and thereby to justify their privileged place above the other branches with regard to such issues.

This essay, written for the University of Chicago Legal Forum's 2014 "Does Election Law Serve the Electorate?" symposium, identifies and unpacks two distinct distancing strategies exemplified in that passage. First, the Court's use of the first-person plural ("we have explained") posits a trans-temporal unified identity for the Court, which is implicitly contrasted with the shifts and vagaries of mere electoral politics. Part I examines this judicial self-presentation by contrasting the treatment of corruption in Caperton, on the one hand, and Citizens United and McCutcheon, on the other. Second, Roberts's implicit contrasting of the Court with "those who govern" serves to suggest that the Court is somehow removed from the arena of partisan politics. Part II discusses this claim with reference to Bush v. Gore, Shelby County, and election-law disputes surrounding the 2014 midterms.

The conclusion will consider what these rhetorical distancing strategies get the Court, and what a critical evaluation of them gets us.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University.

Legal systems operate in a complex environment of principle, political pressure, and media coverage. The goal of the Law, Politics, and the Media subject eJournal is to distribute abstracts of working papers and articles that promote a more integrated understanding of law, courts, and their environment. To this end, the eJournal seeks scholarship that addresses any combination of legal, political, and media-related themes in the analysis of legal institutions, beliefs, and practices. The eJournal is open to work from the social sciences, the humanities, and the legal academy. Papers and articles that focus on the United States, as well as scholarship that is comparative or international in scope, are welcome.


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Advisory Board

Law, Politics & the Media eJournal

Reporter, SCOTUSblog

John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington

Supreme Court Correspondent, Legal Times/Incisive Media

Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for Advancement of Citizenship; Director, Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center, University of Washington - Department of Political Science

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College