The Behavior of Federal Judges: A View from the D.C. Circuit

Judicature, Vol. 97, No. 2, p. 109, September/October 2013

George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-70

15 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013  

Douglas H. Ginsburg

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: December 9, 2013

Abstract

In their book The Behavior of Federal Judges, Professors Lee Epstein and William Landes and Judge Richard Posner offer many insights into the workings of the federal judiciary. Two of their findings, however, strike me as curious: (1) A high rate of dissent in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and (2) a significant ideological influence upon decisions of the courts of appeals generally. In this brief essay, I examine these findings based upon limited quantitative evidence and some direct observations drawn from 27 years of service on the D.C. Circuit.

Keywords: administrative, agency, anecdotal, book review, collegiality, conference, cost-benefit analysis, court size, ideology, judicial decisionmaking, Professor William Jordan, rational choice, regulation

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Douglas H., The Behavior of Federal Judges: A View from the D.C. Circuit (December 9, 2013). Judicature, Vol. 97, No. 2, p. 109, September/October 2013; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-70. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365586

Douglas H. Ginsburg (Contact Author)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ( email )

333 Constitution Ave NW
Room 5523
Washington, DC 20001
United States

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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