By Cass R. Sunstein, David Schkade, Lisa M. Ellman, Andres Sawicki

ISBN-10: 0815782349

ISBN-13: 9780815782346

American citizens are engaged in an severe debate approximately their judicial department of presidency. a few humans fear approximately "activist" judges who're "legislating from the bench," making an finish run round electoral democracy, whereas others suppose that the judiciary is correctly keeping primary rights. How do the political leanings of judges have an effect on their job at the bench? to place it otherwise, Are Judges Political? And to what measure? This provocative booklet produces genuine solutions via taking a look at what judges truly do, injecting truth and research right into a dialogue that's all too frequently crushed via sound bites and ideological howling. well known felony analyst Cass R. Sunstein (, administration pupil David Schkade, legal professional Lisa Ellman, and judicial clerk Andres Sawicki study hundreds of thousands of judicial votes to research the effect of ideology on judicial judgements. Focusing largely at the federal courts of attraction, the place judgments are made by way of a panel of 3 politically appointed judges, the authors scrutinize judgements on probably the most arguable concerns in American legislation and politics. they give the impression of being at arguable, occasionally polarizing issues--abortion, affirmative motion, crusade finance law, incapacity discrimination, environmental defense, and homosexual rights. They specialise in those key questions: Do judges appointed through Republican presidents regularly vote another way from their colleagues who have been appointed by way of a Democrat? whilst are these alterations so much stark and predictable? And to what measure are judicial votes laid low with the ideological leanings of different judges at the comparable panel? for instance, do judges who locate themselves a minority of 1 behave otherwise than those that carry both a 2–1 or 3–0 part? Are Judges Political? injects precision into an impassioned yet frequently impressionistic dialogue by way of quantifying how ideology impacts felony judgments. curiously, even within the so much arguable circumstances, Republican and Democratic appointees agree greater than they disagree. after they do disagree, even though, the research of who votes how (and below what conditions) may be very illuminating and tells us very much approximately human nature in addition to politics and justice in the United States. Are Judges Political? unearths that judges do adhere to the legislations, yet the place the legislations isn't undeniable, political convictions basically play a job function. And while like-minded judges take a seat jointly, they might good visit extremes.

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Here, too, the pro-plaintiff voting percentage of Democratic 33 34 ideological votes and ideological panels appointees on all-Democratic panels is almost triple the corresponding number for Republican appointees on all-Republican panels: 60 percent as compared to 21 percent. Environmental Regulation The Environmental Protection Agency issues regulations under a number of federal statutes designed to protect the environment. Those regulations are often challenged on legal grounds. Industry groups typically contend that the EPA has exceeded its legal authority through overzealous regulations.

Takings Across ideological lines, Americans believe in property rights. But in the culture as a whole, there seems to be a well-defined political division with respect to those rights. Conservatives are typically more interested in protecting property rights than liberals are. If an environmental regulation diminishes the value of property, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to object. This difference has been mirrored on the Supreme Court, as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, both Republican appointees, are more likely to vote in favor of a property owner than are Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, both Democratic appointees.

Surprisingly, this overall difference, 13 percent, is even larger than the basic difference between parties. This is our simple measure of panel effects, though it is part of a more complex story. As we shall see, there are multiple ways to assess the influence of the other judges on the panel. Finally, it is clear that these two influences result in actual judicial decisions that are very much affected by the composition of the panel. Judicial decisions are, of course, what most matter to both the litigants and the law, and hence this finding may well be the most important one.

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Are Judges Political?: An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary by Cass R. Sunstein, David Schkade, Lisa M. Ellman, Andres Sawicki

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