Judicial Independence: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
32 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2010 Last revised: 22 Oct 2010
Date Written: July 16, 2010
In this paper, we directly test the presence of judicial independence by examining judicial recess appointees who have later been confirmed by the Senate to full time Article III judicial positions. Specifically, we compare the votes of recess appointed Courts of Appeals judges during their temporary appointment tenure with a similar period following Senate confirmation. We find substantial differences in pre- and post-confirmation voting, confirming that the structural protections of the Constitution provide judges a certain amount of independence.
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