Presidential Power and the United States Supreme Court
Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 51, No.2, pp. 539-550, June 1998
Posted: 22 Mar 2005 Last revised: 20 Jan 2015
Date Written: 1998
In this study, we build upon the work of Ducat and Dudley's 1989 examination of presidential power and the federal judiciary. Whereas they focused upon presidential fortunes before the federal district courts in cases involving the formal constitutional and statutory powers of the president, we apply a similar model to the voting records of United States Supreme Court Justices in such presidential power cases. Additionally, we offer an extended model of justice voting on presidential power cases that we believe affords a better explanation of the decision-making process. We find that justices' decisions to support the president are conditioned upon presidents' public approval ratings and the justices' ideological inclinations. We also find that presidents receive more voting support in cases involving foreign policy and military affairs than in domestic/nonmilitary cases, thus, lending support to the two presidencies thesis.
Keywords: President, supreme court, ideology, presidential approval, foreign policy, constitutional
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