Judicial Ideal Points in New Democracies: The Case of Taiwan
National Taiwan University Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 123~165, 2012
44 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2012 Last revised: 15 Nov 2012
Date Written: April 6, 2012
This paper extends the empirical analysis of the determinants of judicial behavior by estimating the ideal points for the Justices of the Taiwanese Constitutional Court from 1988-2009. Taiwan presents a particularly interesting case because the establishment and development of constitutional review corresponds to the country’s political transition from an authoritarian regime to an emerging democracy. The estimated ideal points allow us to focus on political coalitions in the Judicial Yuan based on presidential appointments. We did not find any strong evidence of such coalitions. Our empirical results indicated that, with the exception of a handful of Justices, most of them have moderate estimated ideal points. In the context of the Taiwanese Constitutional Court, our results also confirm the previous econometric analysis that largely rejected the attitudinal hypothesis, which predicted that Justices would respond to their appointers’ party interests.
Keywords: Constitutional Court, Constitutional review, empirical analysis, grand justice, ideal point, Judicial Yuan, Taiwan
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