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

By Frank B. Cross

This groundbreaking e-book analyzes the choices made through the us circuit courts during the last part century. those courts have a profound impression at the law—they factor many extra judgements in lots of extra parts of legislation than the best court docket. pass demonstrates that whereas the courts' judges are motivated through ideology and via the appointing president, criminal necessities workout a far improved impression on their judgements. He additionally indicates that those courts are self reliant of the opposite branches of presidency and unfastened from undue impression of assorted events. The booklet extra introduces new study at the precedent-setting strength of choices.

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Consider a panel with two conservatives and one liberal. On hearing a case, each judge reacts ideologically. 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.

These data do not suggest that the judiciary’s ideological nature has changed radically over the time period studied. The preceding list reported only the mean ideological outcome by decade and not the relative significance of judicial ideology for case outcomes. Examining this relative significance requires a regression analysis, broken down by decades, of the effect of Ideology on the ideology of judicial votes. 5 reports the fi ndings of these regressions on the outcome of individual judge votes.

The legitimate legal materials are then applied to the ascertained facts of the case to reach a ruling. ” 4 Central to this legal model is the basing of decisions on some neutral legal principles, free from any political contamination. By its very nature, the identity of the judge should not determine the judicial outcome, if the law rules. If all the legally legitimate source materials point in the same direction, the judicial outcome under law is clear. When the legally legitimate sources call for contradictory results, as they often do, the correct legal answer is much less clear.

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