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http://ssrn.com/abstract=789544
 
 

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Judicial Entrepreneurs on the U.S. Courts of Appeals: A Citation Analysis of Judicial Influence


Tracey E. George


Vanderbilt University - Law School

Jeffrey A. Berger


Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP - Chicago Office

August 2005

Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 05-24

Abstract:     
Federal courts of appeals are constrained by the power and preferences of the Supreme Court. The principal-agent model reveals that circuit judges gain power largely by avoiding review. We consider, however, whether circuit judges may adopt a strategy aimed at attracting a justice's attention rather than eluding it. In the present paper, we find that Supreme Court justices regularly cite circuit court opinions, particularly those decided within the last ten years and authored by judges from the same party. The Court's practice of acknowledging lower court rulings emphasizes the power of intermediate appellate courts in a hierarchical, common-law judicial system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: Positive Political Theory, Judicial Hierarchy, Federal Courts

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Date posted: August 25, 2005  

Suggested Citation

George, Tracey E. and Berger, Jeffrey A., Judicial Entrepreneurs on the U.S. Courts of Appeals: A Citation Analysis of Judicial Influence (August 2005). Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 05-24. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=789544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.789544

Contact Information

Tracey E. George (Contact Author)
Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
Jeffrey A. Berger
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP - Chicago Office ( email )
71 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
United States
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