Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=887728
 
 

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Judicial Tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1790-1868: Frustration, Resignation, and Expiration on the Bench


Richard L. Vining Jr.


University of Georgia - Department of Political Science

Susan Navarro Smelcer


Emory University - Department of Political Science

Christopher J. Zorn


Pennsylvania State University


Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 06-10

Abstract:     
Though scholars have found that modern justices are frequently motivated to step down by political circumstances, we believe that their long-departed predecessors rarely had such a luxury. Specifically, we suggest that the focus on political factors often present in this literature is inappropriate in the period prior to the Judiciary Act of 1869 (16 Stat. 44). The absence of pensions and the rigors of circuit duty prevented early justices from reacting to political stimuli in the same manner as recent justices. In support of this proposition, we examine the effects of personal, institutional, and political factors on Supreme Court turnover, positing that departure behavior prior to the advent of judicial pensions was driven primarily by justices' personal and institutional, rather than political, circumstances.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Supreme Court, justices, law, retirement, history

JEL Classification: J10, N31, K49

working papers series


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Date posted: March 21, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Vining, Richard L. and Smelcer, Susan Navarro and Zorn, Christopher J., Judicial Tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1790-1868: Frustration, Resignation, and Expiration on the Bench . Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 06-10. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=887728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.887728

Contact Information

Richard L. Vining Jr. (Contact Author)
University of Georgia - Department of Political Science ( email )
104 Baldwin Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States
Susan Navarro Smelcer
Emory University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
Christopher J. Zorn
Pennsylvania State University ( email )
University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States
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