30 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 30, 2020
Do people believe a federal court when it rules against the government? And does such judicial credibility depend on the perceived political affiliation of the judge? This study presents a survey experiment addressing these questions, based on a set of recent cases in which both a judge appointed by President George W. Bush and a judge appointed by President Bill Clinton declared the same Trump Administration action to be unlawful. The findings offer evidence that, in a politically salient case, the partisan identification of the judge — here, as a “Bush judge” or “Clinton judge” — can influence the credibility of judicial review in the public mind.
Keywords: DACA, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Federal Judges, Polarization, Motivated Reasoning, Legitimacy, Bush Judge, Clinton Judge, Obama Judge, Trump Judge
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