Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2370857
 


 



Do Policy Messengers Matter? Majority Opinion Writers as Policy Cues in Public 'Buy In' of Supreme Court Decisions


Scott S. Boddery


Binghamton University - Department of Political Science

Jeff Yates


Binghamton University - Department of Political Science

December 21, 2013


Abstract:     
To what degree does the identity of the majority opinion writer affect a citizen’s level of agreement with a U.S. Supreme Court decision? Using a survey experiment, we manipulate the majority opinion authors of two Supreme Court cases between two randomly populated groups. By investigating ideological incongruence between a case’s policy output and the majority opinion author we are able to empirically test the extent to which individuals are willing to agree with a Court opinion that is authored by an ideologically similar justice even though the decision cuts against their self-identified ideological policy preferences. Our study provides insight on the extent to which policy “buy in” by citizens is affected by policy cues represented by the policy messenger of a political institution. We find that, although individuals generally give deference to the Supreme Court’s decisions, a messenger effect indeed augments the specific level of support a given case receives.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Supreme Court, judicial politics, public opinion, specific support

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Date posted: December 22, 2013 ; Last revised: December 23, 2013

Suggested Citation

Boddery, Scott S. and Yates, Jeff, Do Policy Messengers Matter? Majority Opinion Writers as Policy Cues in Public 'Buy In' of Supreme Court Decisions (December 21, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2370857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2370857

Contact Information

Scott S. Boddery (Contact Author)
Binghamton University - Department of Political Science ( email )
PO Box 6001
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
United States
Jeff L. Yates
Binghamton University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Binghamton, NY 13902
United States
607-777-2296 (Phone)
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