When is a political trial "good" or "bad" in terms of responsible governance and fairness to individuals or groups? Professors Abel and Marsh define, evaluate, and justify the usefulness of various kinds of political trials, going back through history to answer these questions in practical terms. They point to basic assumptions and various theoretical approaches and assess specific court practices and cases, while showing real dangers and opportunities that have been part of our history. They cover cases involving the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Constitution, including privacy, religious, medical, bioethical, and health-care issues that are of major concern today. This history is important to political scientists, legal scholars, lawyers, historians, and others concerned with civil rights.