Judging CERCLA: An Empirical Analysis of Circuit Court Decision-Making
Clifford Chad Henson
Property & Environment Research Center; Skiermont Puckett LLP
February 12, 2010
Journal of Applied Economy, Vol. 4, p. 69, 2010
U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE10-007
Political scientists, and increasingly legal scholars, have become skeptical of judges’ attempts to explain decisions based exclusively on applying fact to law, and have attempted to identify factors that influence judicial decision-making. This study isolates a set of cases dealing with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and identifies variable sets corresponding to factors one would expect to be significant under competing models of judicial decision-making. While both the legal and extra-legal model independently explain some judicial decision-making, the legal model has more explanatory power and adds significantly to the explanatory power of the extra-legal model, while the extralegal model does not add significantly to the explanatory power of the legal model. Further, some significant factors in judicial decisions may be open to manipulation by litigants.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Environment, Judiciary, Courts, Appeals, Politics, Law & Economics, New Legal Realism, Environmental Law, Administrative Law
JEL Classification: K33, K40, K49, Q58Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 17, 2010 ; Last revised: February 27, 2011
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