Ideology and the Study of Judicial Behavior

Lee Epstein, Andrew D. Martin, Kevin M. Quinn and Jeffrey A. Segal

in Ideology, Psychology, and Law

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737512
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918638 | DOI:

Series: Series in Political Psychology

Ideology and the Study of Judicial Behavior

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This chapter explores the role of ideology in the study of judicial behavior. From the antecedents of the attitudinal model to newer strategic accounts, ideology plays a key role in political science explanations of judging. Measuring ideology in this context is quite difficult. This chapter describes the strengths and weaknesses of various strategies, including the political party of the judges, exogenous measures developed by Segal and Cover from newspaper editorials, and endogenous measures developed by Martin and Quinn using observed behavior. Empirical studies employing these measures show strong patterns of ideological behavior on the U.S. Supreme Court, with mixed findings for the lower courts.

Keywords: attitudinal model; ideal-point estimates; ideological amplification; ideological dampening; ideology; judges; judicial behavior; measures of ideology; panel effects; strategic accounts; supreme court

Chapter.  9260 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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