The Political Determinants of Judicial Dissent: Evidence from the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal
Lydia Brashear Tiede
University of Houston - Department of Political Science
January 8, 2015
European Political Science Review, Forthcoming
Many judicial scholars argue that judicial dissent stems from partisanship or political differences among judges on courts. These arguments are evaluated using the variation in political backgrounds on a constitutional court, Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal, using case-level and vote-level data from 1990 until 2010. The analysis shows that that the rate of dissent rises after major reforms to the powers and judicial selection mechanism of the Tribunal in 2005 and that the dissent rate corresponds to periods of greater partisanship on the court Further, decisions regarding the unconstitutionality of laws intensify the propensity to dissent at both the case and judge level. In further examination of variation across judges’ voting records, judges who have identifiable partisan associations of any kind are generally more likely to dissent than those with no political background.
Keywords: Constitutional Courts, Abstract Review, Chile
JEL Classification: K00
Date posted: July 1, 2010 ; Last revised: January 23, 2015
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