The Brethren as Baristas: Percolation and Spillover within the Supreme Court's Agenda

32 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 12 Apr 2011

See all articles by Marcus E. Hendershot

Marcus E. Hendershot

Oklahoma State University

Mark S. Hurwitz

Western Michigan University - Department of Political Science

Drew Lanier

University of Central Florida

Richard Pacelle

Georgia Southern University

Date Written: April 10, 2011

Abstract

The Court’s agenda is a finite resource. The Court can only accept so many cases given its institutional responsibility to screen thousands of petitions, allocate time for oral arguments, and then construct opinions to justify the decisions both to the legal community and the broader public. Consequently, the Supreme Court can chart long-term doctrinal development and policy priorities through its agenda, but as the Court uses case selection to pursue its policy goals the docket tends to take on a life of its own as future litigants respond to new precedents. In this paper, we examine the dynamics of the Supreme Court’s agenda by focusing on the way the Court provides agenda space to certain issue areas relative to others.

Keywords: supreme court, agenda, certiorari,percolation, Judiciary Act of 1925

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Hendershot, Marcus E. and Hurwitz, Mark S. and Lanier, Drew and Pacelle, Richard, The Brethren as Baristas: Percolation and Spillover within the Supreme Court's Agenda (April 10, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766850

Marcus E. Hendershot (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University ( email )

Department of Political Science
201 Murray Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

Mark S. Hurwitz

Western Michigan University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States
269-387-5372 (Phone)

Drew Lanier

University of Central Florida ( email )

PO Box 161356
Orlando, FL 32816-1400
United States

Richard Pacelle

Georgia Southern University ( email )

P.O. Box 8151
Statesboro, GA 30460-8151
United States

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