the ebb and flow of issues on the supreme court s agenda
Download
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
The Ebb and Flow of Issues on the Supreme Court’s Agenda

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 20

The Ebb and Flow of Issues on the Supreme Court’s Agenda - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 74 Views
  • Uploaded on

The Ebb and Flow of Issues on the Supreme Court’s Agenda. Vanessa A. Baird University of Colorado-Boulder. Judicial Power in the World The worldwide expansion of judicial power may be one of the most important political phenomena of the 21 st century.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' The Ebb and Flow of Issues on the Supreme Court’s Agenda' - dylan


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
the ebb and flow of issues on the supreme court s agenda

The Ebb and Flow of Issues on the Supreme Court’s Agenda

Vanessa A. Baird

University of Colorado-Boulder

slide2

Judicial Power in the World

The worldwide expansion of judicial power may be one of the most important political phenomena of the 21st century

~ Tate and Vallinder The Global Expansion of Judicial Power, 1995

slide3

Conventional Explanations

  • Activist Judges
  • Ineffective Legislatures
slide4

More Recent Explanations

Rights are more comprehensively protected when there are groups that support litigation

Epp, The Rights Revolution, 1998

slide5

Research Question

How does the Supreme Court get the issues that it needs on its agenda to make comprehensive policy?

slide7

My Explanation

  • Litigation responds systematically to indications of the justices’ policy priorities
  • The Supreme Court’s agenda transforms in light of the justices’ priorities
slide8

The Dependent Variable:

Number of cases on the Supreme Court’s agenda

for eleven issue areas for each year, 1953-1995

slide9

Indications of the Supreme Court’s Policy Priorities

  • Number of cases appearing on New York Times front page
  • Number of declarations of unconstitutionality
  • High rates of lower court reversals
  • Number of formal alterations of precedent
slide10

Theory

Justices’ policy priorities cause an increase in future attention to those policy areas

slide11

Theoretical implication

Justices are dependent on strategic and sophisticated litigation to make comprehensive policy

slide12

Expectations

    • The impact should take a few years
    • The impact should also appear in lower courts
    • The resulting cases will be more important
      • More amicus briefs
      • More separate written opinions
slide13

The Effect of Justices’ Policy Priorities on the Number of Cases on the Supreme Court’s Agenda, 1953-1995

slide14

The Effect of Justices’ Policy Priorities on the Number of Cases on the Appeals Courts’ Agendas, 1953-1988

slide15

The Effect of Justices’ Policy Priorities on the Number of Amicus Briefs on the Supreme Court Agenda, 1953-1986

slide16

The Effect of Justices’ Policy Priorities on the Number of Amicus Briefs on the Appeals Courts’ Agendas, 1953-1988

slide18

Conclusions from preliminary analysis

    • Judicial policy making happens in five year cycles
    • The Court waits four or five years before increasing attention to policy priorities
    • The Court depends on strategic and sophisticated litigants
    • The Court gets more policy relevant cases in those later years
    • Easier to implement preferences
slide19

Implications

  • Groups that represent minorities must be sophisticated enough to support well framed cases in response to the justices’ priorities. Otherwise, the courts will have limited opportunities to make comprehensive policy.
  • Two actors, courts and interest groups, who are unresponsive to the public help one another make policy.
  • Countries without groups that support litigation are not likely to have comprehensive rights protections.
  • The middle justices are advantaged.
slide20

Future work

  • Litigation in response to the Court’s policy priorities tends to be aimed at the ideological middling justices. This results in more 5-4 or 6-3 decisions in those future years.
  • Dissenting opinions that mention the state-federal balance of power bring about more cases in that issue area decided on the basis of federalism. Moreover, the dissenting ideological coalition becomes the majority coalition in the future. It is a strategy that works for both liberals and conservatives.
  • There may be other attributes of the legal environment, justices, or groups that interact that could affect the Supreme Court’s agenda in a systematic way.
ad