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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1563509
 
 

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The Power of Posner: A Study of Prestige and Influence in the Federal Judiciary


Christopher C. McCurdy


Duke University School of Law

Ryan P. Thompson


Duke University School of Law

March 2, 2010


Abstract:     
Some judges have a disproportionate influence over the American judiciary; existing research has shown Judge Richard Posner is one of those judges. Our goal was to identify and determine how Judge Posner’s influence has changed over time. To measure and track his influence, we collected and compared citation and invocation data from three distinct time frames. While these measurements are imperfect, they can help illustrate the level of influence and prestige Judge Posner enjoys. The existing literature led us to expect Judge Posner’s early citation rates to be low. After several years on the bench, the citation rates for each opinion should rise dramatically. By contrast, Judge Posner’s citation rates are exceptionally high from the outset while more recent opinions actually have lower citation rates.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: posner, influence, prestige, citation rates, invocation rates, superstar, depreciation, judges

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Date posted: March 4, 2010 ; Last revised: March 17, 2010

Suggested Citation

McCurdy, Christopher C. and Thompson, Ryan P., The Power of Posner: A Study of Prestige and Influence in the Federal Judiciary (March 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1563509 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1563509

Contact Information

Christopher C. McCurdy
Duke University School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
Ryan P. Thompson (Contact Author)
Duke University School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
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