The Politics of Judicial Opposition
21 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2011 Last revised: 6 Jun 2012
Date Written: 2010
Existing studies of judicial decision-making have found that elected judges are more likely to dissent and to oppose judges from the same party. These findings are explained by elected judges having stronger preferences for risk or being more independent. In this paper, I offer an alternative explanation: judges’ efforts to be retained should yield different patterns of opposition among judges facing reelection and reappointment. I test my hypothesis using data from four years of state supreme courts decisions. Estimation results from probit models and mixed effects nested logit models suggest that judges’ retention concerns are important influences on their opposition voting.
Keywords: judicial decision-making, dissent
JEL Classification: K00, K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation