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

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

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34 p.

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Redding, Kory & Collins, Paul M. April 15, 2010.

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  • Main Title: When the Chief Dissents: Examining the Effect of Instiutional and Administrative Responsibilities, 1946-2008
  • Series Title: University Scholars Day

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Description

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

Physical Description

34 p.

Notes

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.

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  • Seventh Annual University Scholars Day, 2010, Denton, Texas, United States

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  • When the Chief Dissents: Exploring Consensus-Building on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2005, ark:/67531/metadc86903

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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When the Chief Dissents: Exploring Consensus-Building on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2005 (Presentation)

When the Chief Dissents: Exploring Consensus-Building on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2005

Presentation for the 2009 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing research on consensus-building on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1946 to 2005.

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When the Chief Dissents: Exploring Consensus-Building on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2005, ark:/67531/metadc86903

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  • April 15, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 18, 2012, 10:45 a.m.

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  • June 2, 2015, 2:40 p.m.

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Redding, Kory & Collins, Paul M. When the Chief Dissents: Examining the Effect of Instiutional and Administrative Responsibilities, 1946-2008, paper, April 15, 2010; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84356/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.