Fear and Loathing in the Judicial Process: Comparative Case Studies of Judicial Responses to Terrorism

28 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2015

See all articles by Matthew Reid Krell

Matthew Reid Krell

University of Alabama - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 12, 2014

Abstract

Because terrorism is a phenomenon that can only be understood through the responses it evokes, the state's response to terrorism determines the effect that asymmetric political violence has. This paper argues that judicial responses to political violence, instead of being mediated through the law, are mediated through the psychological effects of fear, including desensitization. It considers the rhetoric used in two classes of cases: anti-terrorism cases heard by the Israeli Supreme Court, and habeas corpus jurisdiction cases involving Guantanamo Bay heard by the United States Supreme Court. It finds that both courts behave as expected. This study suggests that judges, too, are not immune to the Hobbesian desire for a Leviathan to protect them, and that the executive can use a Straussian insistence on blind acceptance of authority to drive judicial sanction of its actions, regardless of the legality.

Keywords: comparative politics, habeas corpus, United States Supreme Court, Israeli Supreme Court, Israel, Strauss, Hobbes, comparative judicial politics

Suggested Citation

Krell, Matthew Reid, Fear and Loathing in the Judicial Process: Comparative Case Studies of Judicial Responses to Terrorism (December 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546159 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2546159

Matthew Reid Krell (Contact Author)

University of Alabama - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 870213
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0213
United States

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