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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 70 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. November, 1895-January, 1896.

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 with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 213: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, June-July, 1914.

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: 1914
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 211: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, April-May, 1914.

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: 1914
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 208: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, December, 1913-January, 1914.

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: 1914
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 212: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, May-June, 1914.

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: 1914
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 205: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, July-September, 1913.

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: 1913
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 206: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, September-October, 1913.

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: 1913
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 209: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, January-February, 1914.

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: 1914
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 204: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, June-July, 1913.

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: 1913
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921.

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: 1921
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 269: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, February 24-April 7, 1921.

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 viii.
Date: 1921
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 270: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, April-May, 1921.

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: 1921
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 278: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, April-May, 1922.

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: 1922
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 275: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, November, 1921-January, 1922.

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: 1922
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 273: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, August-September, 1921.

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: 1921
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 277: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, March-April, 1922.

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: 1922
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 276: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, January-March, 1922.

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: 1922
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 179: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, August-September, 1910.

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: 1910
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 158 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. April-May, 1908.

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: 1908
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter. Volume 160 Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States. June-July, 1908.

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: 1908
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 191: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, January-February, 1912.

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: 1912
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 186: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, June-July, 1911.

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: 1911
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 185: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States, May, 1911.

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: 1911
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department