Coalition Formation on the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969-2009

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Steven J. Brams

Steven J. Brams

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Gustavo Camilo

New York University (NYU)

Alexandra D. Franz

California State University, Fullerton

Date Written: April 1, 2011

Abstract

We apply a fallback model of coalition formation to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on the seven natural courts, which had the same members for at least two terms, between 1969 and 2009. The predictions of majority coalitions on each of the courts are generally bourn out by the 5-4 decisions, whereas the predictions of the Martin-Quinn (2002) model, which assumes a single underlying dimension along which the justices can be ordered, are not. The present model also provides insight into the dynamic process by which subcoalitions build up into majority coalitions and, in addition, identifies “kingmakers” and “leaders” on the natural courts.

Keywords: coalition formation, U.S. Supreme Court, fallback model, Martin-Quinn scores, single-peaked preferences

JEL Classification: C7, D63, D7

Suggested Citation

Brams, Steven and Camilo, Gustavo and Franz, Alexandra D., Coalition Formation on the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969-2009 (April 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815164

Steven Brams (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

Dept. of Politics
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New York, NY 10012
United States
212-998-8510 (Phone)
212-995-4184 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/stevenbrams.html

Gustavo Camilo

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Alexandra D. Franz

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

800 N State College St
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

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