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Judicial Enforcers? Exploring Lower Federal Court Compliance in Regulating the Obscene

Description: Although federal circuit and district court judges are placed within a federal hierarchy, and receive legal and judicial training that emphasizes the importance of the judicial framework and its structure, such judges are also subjected to other pressures such as the types of litigants within the courtrooms as well as their local political environment. Furthermore, such judges are apt to form their own views about politics and legal policy and are often appointed by presidents who approve of their ideological leanings. Thus, federal courts are caught between competing goals such as their willingness to maximize their preferred legal policy, and their place within the judicial hierarchy. This dissertation applies hierarchy and impact theory to assess the importance of the judicial framework and its socialization, by analyzing both the judicial opinions and votes of federal circuit and district court judges in obscenity cases during a four-decade period (1957-1998). The research presented here finds the influence of higher court precedent to correspond in part with the conception of a judicial hierarchy. An analysis of citations of Supreme Court precedent (Roth v. United States (1957) and Miller v. California (1973)) in lower court majority opinions suggests low levels of compliance: lower courts at the circuit and district court level do not signal to the Supreme Court their acceptance of High Court doctrine; thus, except for 'factual' cases, most circuit and district court decisions do not comply formally with higher court precedent. An analysis of judicial votes, however, suggests that a Supreme Court doctrinal shift (to Miller v. California) influences lower court decisions only at the circuit court level. Further investigation suggests that Supreme Court precedent has a greater influence in circuit courts than in district courts: not only is the magnitude greater for circuit (versus district) court decisions, such results occur when controlling ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Ryan, John Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Federal Reporter. Volume 20: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. March-July, 1884.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1884
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 21: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. August-November, 1884.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1884
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 18: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. November, 1883-February, 1884.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page xi.
Date: 1884
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 19: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. February-May, 1884.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page xi.
Date: 1884
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 16: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. June-July, 1883.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1883
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 17: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. August-October, 1883.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page xi.
Date: 1883
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 14: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. November, 1882-March, 1883.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1883
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 15: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. March-May, 1883.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1883
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 22: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. December, 1884-March, 1885.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1885
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 23: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. March-June, 1885.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1885
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 12: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. June-August, 1882.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1882
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 13: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. August-November, 1882.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1882
Creator: Desty, Robert.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 40: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. November-February, 1890.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1890
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 41: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. March-June, 1890.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1890
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 63 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. October-December, 1894.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1895
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 64 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. December, 1894-February, 1895.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1895
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 53 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. January-April, 1893.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1893
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 54 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. April-May, 1893.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1893
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 61 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. June-August, 1894.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1894
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 62 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. August-October, 1894.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1894
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 66 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. April-May, 1895.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1895
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 67 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. May-July, 1895.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page ix.
Date: 1895
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 68 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. July-September, 1895.

Description: The Federal Reporter contains the text of decisions and commentary regarding cases tried in circuit and district courts throughout the United States. The opinions printed in the volumes include both written statements and oral comments transcribed for publication. Index of cases starts on page vii.
Date: 1895
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department