The Bible in the Park
Federal District Courts, Religious Speech, and the Public Forum
University of Akron Press
John Blakeman's, The Bible in the Park is an in-depth study of federal district court policymaking and litigation trends in First Amendment cases concerning religious speech and expression in public places. District courts play an important policymaking role in the federal judicial system, and Blakeman's book contributes to our understanding of that role, especially in the context of religious liberty and free speech disputes. As the courts of first instance in the federal judicial system, district courts not only are charged with interpreting and applying First Amendment law at the trial level, but to a large degree also affect how the law is mobilized and developed through litigation. Using a comprehensive database of district court cases concerning religious expression in public places, Blakeman analyzes the legal and political pressures affecting district court outcomes, and also details the litigation trends and pressures that affect how the law concerning religious expression evolves and changes over time.