Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals by Frank B. Cross

By Frank B. Cross

This groundbreaking booklet analyzes the selections made via the us circuit courts during the last part century. those courts have a profound influence at the law—they factor many extra judgements in lots of extra parts of legislations than the preferrred court docket. move demonstrates that whereas the courts' judges are prompted via ideology and by way of the appointing president, felony standards workout a miles more advantageous effect on their judgements. He additionally indicates that those courts are self reliant of the opposite branches of presidency and loose from undue impression of varied events. The ebook extra introduces new learn at the precedent-setting strength of selections.

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The liberal realizes that he or she is outvoted and the case outcome will be conservative. The liberal judge might well go along with the conservative decision rather than make the effort to write a liberal dissenting opinion that could have no practical effect. In this scenario, the liberal judge would cast a conservative vote, but this vote is misleading. Had there been another liberal on the panel, the liberal judge probably would have exercised his or her ideological interests and voted for the liberal position.

According to this view, judges suppress their ideological preferences to fulfill their oath to decide according to law. This is a form of altruism, of which economists are skeptical. We know, however, that altruism does sometimes occur. Role theory suggests that a person’s institutional role comes with responsibilities that the person will follow. 12 People are socialized into conforming to expectations, and judges are expected to conform to the law in their decision making. A judge who is trained in the law and appreciates the gravity of his or her position might have his or her ideological attitudes modified by the role.

Criminal procedure is more ideological than civil procedure, and diversity decisions show little ideological significance. In none of these areas is the effect great. The role of ideological judging seems to vary by category of case, but the difference doesn’t appear to be great or systematic in some obvious way. Ideological Decision Making over Time Some argue that in recent years the judiciary has become increasingly ideological in its decisions. In this view, the courts in the past were neutral arbiters of disputes, but judges in recent times have become more political in their decisions.

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