The Political Origins of Judicial Dissent: Evidence from the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal
Rice University - Department of Political Science
Lydia Brashear Tiede
University of Houston - Department of Political Science
May 22, 2012
Many judicial scholars argue that judges’ voting behavior stems from the political differences of the court. Using the variation in political backgrounds on a constitutional court, Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal, we examine this question using case-level and vote-level data from 1990 until 2011. We first find that the rate of dissent rises after major reforms to the makeup of the Tribunal in 2005 and the dissent rate corresponds to periods of greater political differences on the court, initially among pre and post transition appointments and then among party affiliates. Examining variation across judges, we find that those who have identifiable partisan affiliations are generally more likely to dissent than those with no political background, though this is conditional with case outcomes and case type. We interpret these findings as consistent with an ideological basis for judicial dissent on the Tribunal.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Constitutional Courts, Abstract Review, Chile
JEL Classification: K00working papers series
Date posted: July 1, 2010 ; Last revised: February 21, 2013
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