When the Chief Dissents: Examining the Effect of Instiutional and Administrative Responsibilities, 1946-2008

Description:

This paper discusses research examining the effect of institutional and administrative responsibilities of Supreme Court Justices.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: April 15, 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Honors College
Collection(s):
UNT Scholarly Works
Usage:
Total Uses: 42
Past 30 days: 4
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Creator (Author):
Redding, Kory

University of North Texas

Creator (Contributor):
Collins, Paul M.

University of North Texas; Faculty Mentor

Date(s):
  • Creation: April 15, 2010
Description:

This paper discusses research examining the effect of institutional and administrative responsibilities of Supreme Court Justices.

Degree:
Department: Political Science
Department: Honors College
Note:

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to investigate the means by which chief justices choose to dissent from the majority on the United States Supreme Court. The author presents two competing theories concerning how a chief justice chooses to proceed once he places himself in the minority coalition. The first theory is the institutional responsibilities theory, which purports that the chief justice seeks to preserve respect and authority for the norm of consensus. Thus, the chief justice will author a dissenting opinion when he decides to dissent from the majority because the chief's decision to dissent signals a fundamental disagreement with the rule of law announced in the majority opinion. The second theory is the administrative responsibilities theory, which asserts that the chief justice is less concerned with institutional matters because of the plethora of administrative responsibilities that constrain his time. Therefore, the chief justice will join a dissenting opinion authored by one of his colleagues rather than authoring his own. The author tests these theories using data on the dissenting behavior of chief justices during the Supreme Court's 1946-2008 terms. The results indicate that chief justices are overwhelmingly more likely to join a dissenting opinion than author a dissent when they are part of the minority coalition, thus indicating that administrative responsibilities are capable of influencing the opinion writing behavior of chief justices.

Physical Description:

34 p.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): chief justices | dissenting opinions | minority coalitions | administrative responsibilities
Source: Seventh Annual University Scholars Day, 2010, Denton, Texas, United States
Contributor(s):
Series Title: University Scholars Day
Partner:
UNT Honors College
Collection:
UNT Scholarly Works
Relation (Is Version Of): When the Chief Dissents: Exploring Consensus-Building on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2005, ark:/67531/metadc86903
Identifier:
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc84356
Resource Type: Paper
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public