I am the author of The Immigration Battle in American Courts, Cambridge University Press, hardback 2010, paperback 2014. The book details the role of the federal judiciary in U.S. immigration policy. It is also the institutional evolution story of the two highest courts in the federal judiciary, the Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
Here's what some scholars said about the book:
"Anna Law's The Immigration Battle in American Courts manages to provide fresh insight into not one, but two, of the pressing issues of the day. An accomplished political scientist who has taken the time to learn what she needs of the legal system, Law demonstrates how the flood of immigration cases has changed the law and functioning of the court system, and how they in turn have had an impact on countless individuals. She also shows how under a torrent of cases, the Supreme Court can lose control of its lower courts. This book, rich with data, based on many interviews with judges, and deeply steeped in both the law and present realities, is an essential read for anyone interested in either immigration, or the workings of the US justice system."
-Barry Friedman, New York University School of Law
"This is a provocative and important book. Professor Anna Law has provided us with a powerful view of how the federal courts adjudicate immigration cases. Her research is richly textured, drawing upon interviews with federal judges, careful analysis of specific cases, and an innovative quantitative database. The result is a sophisticated portrait of how the historical development and multilevel structure of the federal judiciary has had significant implications for immigrant litigants. A valuable contribution to both public law and immigration scholarship."
-Daniel J. Tichenor, University of Oregon
"The Immigration Battle in American Courts is well-written, creative, and rigorously researched. It is the best book I have seen in demonstrating how differences in the unique and slowly-changing institutional contexts of the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals shape judges' perceptions of what they should be doing and how they should be doing it, and thus their decision-making. It is a must-read for political scientists, legal scholars, historians, and policymakers who are experts in the Supreme Court and lesser federal courts, immigration law and policy, and American political development. It is also a must-read for the informed public and students who are interested in immigration policy and the place of federal courts in the American political system."
-Ronald Kahn, Oberlin College
Here is a review from the Harvard Law Review, which said:
"Drawing on interviews with sitting judges, the developmental history of the courts, and analysis of the modes and use of legal reasoning, Professor Law employs both an expertise in political science and a robust understanding of legal analysis to illuminate the impact these extrajudicial institutional factors have on the ultimate merits decision of a case. By tracing the judicial response to the recent explosion in immigration appeals, Professor Law sketches a divided federal court system where the de facto final oversight of the courts of appeals render them more sympathetic to the facts of a case than the policy-driven Supreme Court."
Another review from Perspectives in Politics, the top political science journal said:
"This is an important and much-needed account, and Law tells a persuasive story in her thorough and comprehensive book.... It takes a close and serious look at one of the leading debates of this generation. Anyone interested in the immigration debate, the role of the federal courts in the federal system, judicial behavior, or the interaction among these complex variables would be well served by it."
And Law and Society, a flagship interdisciplinary journal noted:
"While the overarching theme of this study is institutional change, the book presents a strong and nuanced analysis of the institutional context for the creation of immigration law... Overall, this book makes a tremendous contribution to an understanding of the connections between and within institutions and bureaucracies, the different federal appellate courts' distinct institutional and political settings, and immigration law...It is a must-read for students of immigration and immigration law and institutional development. Well-written, insightful, and smart, this book is a solid piece of scholarly work that furthers an understanding of institutions, the highest U.S. federal courts, judicial decision making, and historical and contemporary immigration laws and policies."