Judging CERCLA: An Empirical Analysis of Circuit Court Decision-Making

Journal of Applied Economy, Vol. 4, p. 69, 2010

U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE10-007

36 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2010 Last revised: 27 Feb 2011

Clifford Chad Henson

Texas A&M School of Law; Property & Environment Research Center

Date Written: February 12, 2010

Abstract

Political scientists, and increasingly legal scholars, have become skeptical of judges’ attempts to explain decisions based exclusively on applying fact to law, and have attempted to identify factors that influence judicial decision-making. This study isolates a set of cases dealing with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and identifies variable sets corresponding to factors one would expect to be significant under competing models of judicial decision-making. While both the legal and extra-legal model independently explain some judicial decision-making, the legal model has more explanatory power and adds significantly to the explanatory power of the extra-legal model, while the extralegal model does not add significantly to the explanatory power of the legal model. Further, some significant factors in judicial decisions may be open to manipulation by litigants.

Keywords: Environment, Judiciary, Courts, Appeals, Politics, Law & Economics, New Legal Realism, Environmental Law, Administrative Law

JEL Classification: K33, K40, K49, Q58

Suggested Citation

Henson, Clifford Chad, Judging CERCLA: An Empirical Analysis of Circuit Court Decision-Making (February 12, 2010). Journal of Applied Economy, Vol. 4, p. 69, 2010; U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE10-007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1551965

Clifford Chad Henson (Contact Author)

Texas A&M School of Law

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Property & Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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