Chief Justice Roberts in His Own Voice: The Chief Justice's Self-Assignment of Majority Opinions
Yale Law School
August 15, 2013
Yale Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 496
Among the most significant prerogatives that a chief justice enjoys is the power to assign an opinion when in the majority. While The Behavior of Federal Judges only briefly alludes to "a self-expression component of the judicial utility function" for Supreme Court justices, I will indulge the assumption that there is something special about a chief justice’s choice of when to speak for the Court. In this essay, I examine the current chief justice’s practice of self-assigning majority opinions, with the goal of comparing his performance to the general patterns established by other chief justices.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Keywords: Supreme Court, Chief Justice
JEL Classification: D70, D73
Date posted: February 5, 2014 ; Last revised: April 22, 2014
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