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Partisanship and Judicial Decision Making in U.S. Courts of Appeal

Description: Partisanship is found in voter and Congressional behavior. Members of the federal judiciary should behave similarly. I utilize cases involving the Republican and Democratic parties from 1966 to 1997 and examine the voting behavior of federal Courts of Appeal judges. I utilize both cross tabulations and a Logit regression model to determine the likelihood appellate judges will vote for their own party and against the opposition.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Meaders, Eddie Loyd
Partner: UNT Libraries

Extreme Politics: An Analysis of the State Level Conditions Favoring Far Right Parties in the European Union

Description: Three models are developed to analyze the state level conditions fostering the rise of far right parties in the European Union in the last two decades. The political background of these parties is examined. This study offers a definition for far right parties, which combines several previous attempts. The research has focused on the effects of the number of the parties, immigration, and unemployment on support for the far right in Europe. Empirical tests, using a random effects model of fifty elections in eight nations, suggest that there are political, social, and economic conditions that are conducive to electoral success. Specifically, increases in the number of "effective" parties favor the far right, while electoral thresholds serve to dampen support. Immigration proves to be a significant variable. Surprisingly, changes in crime and unemployment rates have a negative effect on support for the far right. Suggestions for future research are offered.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Smith, Jason Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contextualizing the Law: Sentencing Decisions of Sexual Assault Cases of Dallas County, 1999-2005

Description: The incidence of sexual assault inundates the courts with many cases each year. Given the unique nature of the crime, judges and juries are faced with an array of different scenarios to which they are required to make fair, justifiable and consistent decisions. I examine child sexual assault cases of Dallas County 1999-2005, I look at both legal and extralegal factors including case characteristics, institutional characteristics and characteristics of the defendants and the victims. First, I examine the impact of the independent variables on sentence length using regression analysis to determine influences on sentencing for judges and juries. Second, I examine the same factors using Probit analysis to determine which characteristics make a life sentence more probable for those decision-makers.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Greening, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exogenous Influences and Paths To Activism

Description: The focus of this research was to ascertain the indirect effects upon activism of intervening variables and recognized exogenous influences upon activism. In addition, this research also focused upon the differences and similarities of a recruited activist model and spontaneous activist model. Regression and path analysis were used to measure the direct and indirect effects of the exogenous and intervening variables. This research found that when the intervening variables, political interest, political awareness, exposure to media, altruism, and self-interest were introduced to both the recruited and spontaneous models, the direct effects of the variables were enhanced.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ray, Grady Dale
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction for Federal Income Tax: A Federalist Perspective

Description: The debate over federal income tax treatment of home mortgage interest (HMI) has largely overlooked an important, and possibly unintended political and economic consequence of our federal income tax system. The distribution of the for home mortgage interest deduction tax benefit across states is a possible missing consideration. Specifically, this study offers a federalist1 perspective on the federal income tax benefit from the deduction for HMI - one of the largest personal federal tax expenditures on the books. This dissertation analyzes current national political rhetoric from a federalist perspective. Discussion also includes background, current status, and proposed changes to the tax code for of the HMI deduction. First, a Tobit regression is used to analyze the distribution of the HMI tax benefit across states and to test for disproportionate distribution across states in benefit derived from the federal income tax deduction for home mortgage interest beyond that which is explained by income. This initial part of the study is also the precursor to a hierarchical analysis seeking to identify significant factors affecting the distribution of the benefit of the HMI deduction across states. The Ernst and Young/University of Michigan Individual Model File of 1992 tax returns is the primary data source for this initial part of the investigation. The second part of the analysis examines the effect of sets of factors in a causal hierarchy on the HMI deduction benefit. By first controlling for the effects of personal and identifiable state characteristics on HMI deduction benefit, the possible existence of a residual socio-political force is tested. The primary data sources for this part of the study are the 1990 Census of Population and Housing 5% Public Use Microsample as well as tax data extracted from the Statistics of Income, Individual Public Use Tax File, Level III Sample, as well as ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Ortiz, Dennis S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sanctuary Cities: A Discussion About Senate Bill 4

Description: Video of the 2017 Constitution Day: Sanctuary Cities event. This is a forum style discussion featuring Texas House Representative Ramon Romero, who argued vigorously against SB4, and Texas House Representative Lynn Stucky, who is a strong supporter of the new law. Students will also ask the speakers questions via Twitter using hashtags #UNT #Constitution Day.
Date: September 14, 2017
Creator: Evans-Cowley, Jennifer; Major, Rafael; Romero, Ramon & Stucky, Lynn
Partner: University of North Texas

Superior Orders and Duress as Defenses in International Law and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Description: Thesis written by a student in the UNT Honors College discussing the changes in understanding of the defenses of duress and "superior orders" in international humanitarian law over the past several centuries, changing from one extreme to another.
Date: Spring 2004
Creator: Henson, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Honors College

The Federal Constitution and Race-Based Admissions Policies in Public Charter Schools

Description: The primary questions addressed in this dissertation are whether race-based admissions policies in charter schools are constitutionally permissible, and if not, how could an admissions policy be designed so that it would promote school diversity without violating the law? These questions are important because there are significant numbers of philosophers and scholars who hypothesize that student body diversity not only enhances educational outcomes but also is a necessary component of civic education in a liberal democracy. The researcher takes no particular stance on the benefits of educational diversity, focusing instead on the constitutional questions raised by the use of race-sensitive policies in the interest of diversity. The primary methodology used throughout is legal research, though the literature review includes references to political philosophers and social scientists as well as primary legal sources. Chapter I outlines the most frequent arguments made in favor of school diversity and suggests that the judicial philosophy expressed by the Supreme Court over the last twenty-five years has moved away from the philosophy expressed in Brown v. Board. In Chapter II, Supreme Court precedent on affirmative action policies is analyzed, focusing mainly on the decision of the divided Court in University of California Board of Regents v. Bakke. Chapter III provides a detailed analysis of how six different Federal Circuit Courts interpreted Bakke, highlighting numerous recurring judicial themes and concerns. In Chapter IV, existing charter school laws are examined state by state. Chapter V suggests several policy options for those interested in promoting a diverse charter school student body.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Black, Watt Lesley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human Rights and the Strategic Use of US Foreign Food Aid

Description: How does respect for human rights affect the disbursement of food aid by US foreign policymakers? Scholars analyzing foreign aid generally look at only total economic aid, military aid or a combination of both. However, for a more nuanced understanding of human rights as a determinant of foreign aid, the discrete foreign aid programs must be examined. By disentangling component-programs from total aid, this analysis demonstrates how human rights influence policymakers by allowing them to distribute food aid to human rights abusing countries. Consequently, policymakers can promote strategic objectives with food aid, while legally restricted from distributing other aid. The primary theoretical argument, which links increasing human rights abuse with increasing food aid, is supported by results from a Heckman model. This procedure models the two-stage decision-making process where foreign policymakers first, select countries for aid and then, distribute aid to those selected.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Fariss, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Destruction of a Society: A Qualitative Examination of the Use of Rape as a Military Tool

Description: This thesis explores the conditions under which mass rapes are more likely to be incorporated into the strategy of military or paramilitary groups during periods of conflict. I examine three societies, Rwanda , the former Yugoslavia , and Cambodia in a comparative analysis. To determine what characteristics make societies more likely to engage in rape as a military tool, I look at the status of women in the society, the religious cultures, the degree of female integration into the military institutions, the cause of the conflicts, the history of the conflict, and finally, the status of minority ethnic groups in each of these societies.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Finley, Briana Noelle
Partner: UNT Libraries

A meta-analysis of service learning research in middle and high schools.

Description: This study examines the relationship between service learning innovations and improved academics, self-concept, and social or personal growth in middle and high school students. Meta-Analysis is employed to arrive at effect-size estimates for each construct. A historical overview of service learning is presented and a detailed description of the study selection process is provided. The data revealed a moderate relationship between service learning participation and academics, self-concept and social or personal growth in middle and high school students. The findings are presented, and some appropriate conclusions are drawn. A discussion of the implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are also provided.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2001
Creator: White, Amy E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Let the End be Legitimate": An Analysis of Federal District Court Decision Making in Voting Rights Cases, 1965-1993.

Description: Integrated process models that combine both legal and extralegal variables provide a more accurate specification of the judicial decision making process and capture the complexity of the factors that shape judicial behavior. Judicial decision making theories borrow heavily from U.S. Supreme Court research, however, such theories may not automatically be applicable to the lower federal bench. The author uses vote dilution cases originating in the federal district courts from the years 1965 to 1993 to examine what motivates the behavior of district and circuit court judges. The author uses an integrated process model to assess what factors are important to the adjudication process and if there are significant differences between federal district and appellate court judges in decision making.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Morbitt, Jennifer Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rubber Stamps and Litmus Tests: The President, the Senate, and Judicial Voting Behavior in Abortion Cases in the U.S. Federal District Courts

Description: This thesis focuses on how well indicators of judicial ideology and institutional constraints predict whether a judge will vote to increase abortion access. I develop a model that evaluates a judge's decision in an abortion case in light of ideological factors measured at the time of a judge's nomination to the bench and legal and institutional constraints at the time a judge decides a case. I analyze abortion cases from all of the U.S. Federal District Courts from 1973-2004. Unlike previous studies, which demonstrate that the president and the home state senators are the best predictors of judicial ideology, I find that the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time of the judge's nomination is the only statistically significant ideological indicator. Also, contrary to conventional wisdom, Supreme Court precedent (a legal constraint) is also a significant predictor of judicial voting behavior in abortion cases.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Craig, McKinzie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decision-Making at the Court of Appeals Level Involving Religious Liberty Cases

Description: Many studies have been completed on factors affecting judicial decisions. Studies have focused on civil rights cases, economic cases, criminal cases, sexual discrimination and obscenity cases, but no work has specifically looked at religious liberty cases. This work examines the factors affecting United States Courts of Appeals judges' decision-making in religious liberty cases. I hypothesize that gender, race, religious background, prior judicial experience, circuit, region and litigant status will all influence the way judges vote in religious liberty cases. The explanatory power of this study is relatively low, but the results indicate that judges follow the law when making decisions in religious liberty cases.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Reeves, Susan Kay
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Undue Burden Standard: The Effects of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) on State Abortion Laws

Description: This thesis examines the effects of the change from strict scrutiny to the undue burden standard in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). A history of abortion in the United States and the various ways in which government regulates it is explored. Particular attention is focused on the role of the federal judiciary in abortion regulation. Theories of judicial decision making are discussed as means to understand the outcome of cases. Several models are tested to determine which, if any, model explains judicial decision making. The effect of the change in standard, as well as an alternate precedent, are examined.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Burlage, G. Rachel
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea": An investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide

Description: This paper discusses a research investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide. This paper focuses on doctrinal controversies and examines how genocide is and has been addressed by modern tribunals, with special emphasis on the subjective mens rea (mental element) required for genocide.
Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Jung, Andrew M. & King, Kimi L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

"Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea": An investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for Genocide [Presentation]

Description: Presentation for the 2006 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing a research investigation into the treatment of mens rea in the quest to hold individuals accountable for genocide.
Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Jung, Andrew M. & King, Kimi L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

The Arbitrary Nature of Capital Punishment in Texas

Description: Presentation for the 2008 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing research on the arbitrary nature of capital punishment in Texas. This presentation shows statistics on the distribution of death row sentences by county, gender, and race.
Date: April 3, 2008
Creator: Samaniego-Kopsky, Rebekah & King, Kimi L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

His, Hers, and Theirs: Domestic Relations and Marital Property Law in Texas to 1850

Description: Texas law regarding the legal status of women and their property rights developed from the mingling of Spanish and English laws. Spanish laws regarding the protection of women's rights developed during the centuries-long Reconquest, when the Spanish Christians slowly took back the Iberian Peninsula from the Moorish conquerors. Women were of special importance to the expansion of Spanish civilization. Later, when Spain conquered and colonized the New World, these rights for women came, too. In the New World, women's rights under Spanish law remained the same as in Spain. Again, the Spanish were spreading their civilization across frontiers and women needed protection. When the Spanish moved into Texas, they brought their laws with them yet again. Archival evidence demonstrates that Spanish laws in early Texas remained essentially unchanged with regard to the status of women. Events in the history of England caused its legal system to develop in a different manner from Spain's. In England, the protection of property was the law's most important goal. With the growth of English common law, husbands gained the right to control their wives's lives in that married women lost all legal identity. When the English legal system crossed the Atlantic and took root in the United States, little changed, especially in the southern states, when migrants from there entered Texas. When these Anglo-American colonists came into contact with Spanish/Mexican laws, they tended to prefer the legal system they knew best. Accordingly, with the creation of the Republic of Texas, and later the state of Texas, most laws derived from English common law. From Spanish laws, legislators adopted only those that dealt with the protection of women, developed on the Spanish frontier, because they were so much more suitable to life in Texas. Later lawmakers and judges used these same laws to protect the ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Stuntz, Jean A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Immigration Beliefs and Attitudes: A Test of the Group Conflict Model in the United States and Canada

Description: This study develops and tests a group conflict model as an explanation for international immigration beliefs in the United States and Canada. Group conflict is structured by evaluations concerning group relationships and group members. At a conceptual level group conflict explains a broad range of policy beliefs among a large number of actors in multiple settings. Group conflict embodies attitudes relating to objective-based conditions and subjective-based beliefs.
Date: August 1999
Creator: McIntyre, Chris, 1964-
Partner: UNT Libraries