Leadership on the Federal Bench: The Craft and Activism of Jack Weinstein considers the ways a particularly gifted federal judge seized the opportunities available to district judges to influence the results of the cases before him, and employed the tools available to him to make policy having a national impact. In the book, author Jeffrey Morris considers the ways in which the judge, Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York, has been limited by his position. This book adds to the slim literature about the policy-making role of district judges applying the work of legal historians, political scientists and those trained in the law. Focusing upon an admitted judicial activist - perhaps the most famous, innovative and controversial district judge sitting today - the book permits a close look at activism at the trial level. Leadership on the Federal Bench: The Craft and Activism of Jack Weinstein begins by analyzing the job of a federal district judge and why it is profitable to study Judge Weinstein.
Related topics include Weinstein's background before appointment to the bench; the political and legal environment within which Weinstein has judged and the characteristics of the district in which he sat and its possible impact on him. Part of the book focuses on Weinstein's judicial output for each of his four decades on the bench. Cases are drawn from a diverse number of areas, among them the areas of civil rights, freedom of speech, search and seizures, organized crime and political corruption cases, evidence and procedure. Finally, conclusions are made on the role of district courts, judicial activism in general, along with a summary of Judge Weinstein's career.