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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen Jan 2001

The Most Dangerous Justice Rides Again: Revisiting The Power Pageant Of The Justices, Paul H. Edelman, Jim Chen

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Who is the most powerful Supreme Court Justice? In 1996 we measured voting power on the Court according to each Justice's ability to form five-member coalitions. From the set of all coalitions formed by the Court during its 1994 and 1995 Terms, we developed a generalized Banzhaf index of the Justices' relative strength. Generally speaking, participating in a greater number of unique coalitions translates into greater judicial voting power. To supplement the small number of decisions then available, we derived hypothetical five-Justice coalitions from the intersections of actually observed coalitions involving more than five members. Professor Lynn Baker contested ...


Inside The Judicial Mind, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich Jan 2001

Inside The Judicial Mind, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The quality of the judicial system depends upon the quality of decisions that judges make. Even the most talented and dedicated judges surely make occasional mistakes, but the public understandably expects judges to avoid systematic errors. This expectation, however, might be unrealistic. Psychologists who study human judgment and choice have learned that people frequently fall prey to cognitive illusions that produce systematic errors in judgment. Even though judges are experienced, well-trained, and highly motivated decision makers, they might be vulnerable to cognitive illusions. We report the results of an empirical study designed to determine whether five common cognitive illusions (anchoring ...


Court Fixing, Tracey E. George Jan 2001

Court Fixing, Tracey E. George

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article critically examines the existing social science evidence on the relative importance of various individual factors on judicial behavior and adds to that evidence by considering the influence of prior academic experience on judges. Researchers have not focused much attention on the importance of a judge's background as a full-time law professor and legal scholar, although more than thirteen percent of courts of appeals appointees were former law professors. Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan both viewed the federal judiciary (particularly the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals) as integral to their policy agendas, and both further believed ...