Courts of Many Minds

32 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 31 Jul 2010

Kai Spiekermann

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Robert E. Goodin

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

In A Constitution of Many Minds (Princeton UP 2009), Cass Sunstein argues that the three major approaches to constitutional interpretation all rely on some variation of a “Many Minds” argument:

-- “Traditionalists” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” on previous courts;
-- “Populists” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” in the electorate at large;
-- “Cosmopolitans” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” on foreign benches.

Here we assess each of these claims through the lens of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. In the cases of the Traditionalist and Cosmopolitan approaches we explore the implications of partial interdependence among past and foreign courts, respectively. In the case of the Populist approach, we consider the influence of opinion leaders.

Keywords: epistemic democracy, Condorcet jury theorem, many minds

Suggested Citation

Spiekermann, Kai and Goodin, Robert E., Courts of Many Minds (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644530

Kai Spiekermann

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Robert E. Goodin (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 6125 5111 (Phone)

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