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"Acclimation Effects" for Supreme Court Justices: A Cross-Validation, 1888-1940

Sandra L. Wood, Linda Camp Keith, Drew Noble Lanier and Ayo Ogundele
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 690-697
DOI: 10.2307/2991775
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991775
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

Theory: As they learn a new role, Justices experience an initial period of adjustment to the Supreme Court, which creates voting instability. Hypothesis: Justices during the time 1888-1940 are more likely to experience acclimation effects than those in the modern era. Those with judicial experience, however, may not experience such shifts. Methods: Difference of means tests are employed to consider the differences in voting behavior between the first two years of a justice's tenure on the Court and the remaining years. Results: Twenty-five freshman justices from 1888-1940 experienced a weaker acclimation effect than those in the modern era. Those who lacked judicial experience were particularly prone to experience acclimation effects, especially in judicial power cases.

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