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Game Theory and the HumanitiesBridging Two Worlds$
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Steven J. Brams

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015226

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015226.001.0001

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Law: Supreme Court Challenges and Jury Selection

Law: Supreme Court Challenges and Jury Selection

(p.127) 6 Law: Supreme Court Challenges and Jury Selection
Game Theory and the Humanities

Steven J. Brams

The MIT Press

This chapter begins by analyzing two games that were played between the president and the Supreme Court. More specifically, it describes a game played between President Richard M. Nixon and two of his appointees to the Supreme Court, who clashed over the release of White House tape recordings made during the Watergate crisis of 1974. The chapter shows that by threatening not to release the tapes describing an attempted cover-up of a burglary that he had instigated, Nixon precipitated his own downfall. It then turns to how President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to “pack” the Supreme Court by appointing additional justices who would favor New Deal legislation, but his strategy backfired and he was forced to retreat. The chapter also develops a model of jury selection by the prosecution and defense, based on a two-person constant-sum game.

Keywords:   game theory, president, Supreme Court, Richard Nixon, Watergate, Franklin D. Roosevelt, New Deal, jury selection

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