James L. Gibson, the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government, and Michael J. Nelson, PhD ’14, have won the C. Herman Pritchett Book Award for Judging Inequality: State Supreme Courts and the Equality Crisis (Russell Sage 2021). The C. Herman Pritchett Book Award is given by the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) to the best book on law and courts written in the previous year.
Gibson and Nelson were also awarded the Virginia Gray Book Award by the APSA earlier this year, recognizing Judging Inequality as the best book published on U.S. state politics or policy in the preceding three calendar years.
In Judging Inequality, Gibson and Nelson present findings from a multi-year study that challenge assumptions about state supreme courts. They found that most state supreme courts act as an extension of the forces in power in a state at the moment. As a result, the highest state courts often fail to advance equality and rule in favor of more privileged litigants.