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A Positive Political Model of Supreme Court Economic Decisions

Tony Caporale and Harold Winter
Southern Economic Journal
Vol. 68, No. 3 (Jan., 2002), pp. 693-702
DOI: 10.2307/1061727
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061727
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Positive Political Model of Supreme Court Economic Decisions
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Abstract

We develop a positive political model of the U. S. Supreme Court. Looking at the Court's economic cases for the period 1953-1993, we find a significant larger fraction of conservative decisions under Republican presidents and more conservative leadership of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Conservative decisions are also found to be positively correlated with the fraction of the Court appointed by Republican presidents and the rate of price inflation. We argue that our findings cast serious doubt on the common view of the Supreme Court as a completely independent, apolitical institution.

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