Do Reasons Matter? The Impact of Opinion Content on Supreme Court Legitimacy

Political Research Quarterly, 65(1) 206–216 (2012)

11 Pages Posted: 1 May 2016  

Dion Farganis

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2016

Abstract

Is Supreme Court legitimacy affected by the way justices explain their decisions to the public? Existing work shows a link between legitimacy and case outcomes but often overlooks the impact of opinion content. Using a novel experimental design, the author measures the effect of three different types of judicial arguments on public support for the Court. The results suggest that the rationales used by justices in their opinions can affect institutional legitimacy, but to a lesser degree than conventional wisdom suggests.Taken together with other recent legitimacy research, these findings have important implications and set the stage for follow-up research.

Suggested Citation

Farganis, Dion, Do Reasons Matter? The Impact of Opinion Content on Supreme Court Legitimacy (April 28, 2016). Political Research Quarterly, 65(1) 206–216 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2772340

Dion Farganis (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

229-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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