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Foreseeing Greatness? Measurable Performance Criteria And The Selection Of Supreme Court Justices, James J. Brudney Dec 2004

Foreseeing Greatness? Measurable Performance Criteria And The Selection Of Supreme Court Justices, James J. Brudney

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Working Paper Series

This article contributes to an ongoing debate about the feasibility and desireability of measuring the "merit" of appellate judges--and their consequent Supreme Court potential--by using objective performance variables. Relying on the provocative and controversial "tournament criteria" proposed by Professors Stephen Choi and Mitu Gulati in two recent articles, Brudney assesses the "Supreme Court potential" of Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun based on their appellate court records. He finds that Burger's appellate performance appears more promising under the Choi and Gulati criteria, but then demonstrates how little guidance these quantitative assessments actually provide when reviewing the two men's careers ...


Mixed Signals: Reconsidering The Political Economy Of Judicial Deference To Administrative Agencies, Matthew C. Stephenson Feb 2004

Mixed Signals: Reconsidering The Political Economy Of Judicial Deference To Administrative Agencies, Matthew C. Stephenson

ExpressO

This paper investigates rational choice explanations for patterns of Supreme Court decision-making with respect to the appropriate level of judicial deference to administrative agency decisions. In particular, I assess empirically the thesis that the Supreme Court expands deference when the Supreme Court is ideologically closer to the executive than to the circuit courts, and contracts deference when the opposite is true. I find little to no evidence supporting this "rational choice" theory of judicial deference. Given this surprising null finding, I offer alternative explanations for the data and suggest directions for future research.