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Procedural Justice, Institutional Legitimacy, and the Acceptance of Unpopular U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: A Reply to Gibson

Tom R. Tyler and Kenneth Rasinski
Law & Society Review
Vol. 25, No. 3 (1991), pp. 621-630
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Law and Society Association
DOI: 10.2307/3053729
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3053729
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.
Procedural Justice, Institutional Legitimacy, and the Acceptance of Unpopular U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: A Reply to Gibson
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Abstract

Gibson (1989) questions whether the Supreme Court's ability to legitimate unpopular policies is based on public views that the Court is a fair decisionmaker. His claim is based on his analysis of a survey examining the ability of the Supreme Court to gain acceptance of the right of an unpopular political group to demonstrate. A reanalysis of Gibson's data using a model allowing for both direct and indirect effects of public views about the fairness of court decisionmaking procedures on acceptance does not support Gibson's conclusion that procedure has no influence on acceptance. Our results indicate that public views about the fairness of Supreme Court decisionmaking procedures have an indirect effect on acceptance through their influence on public views about the Court's legitimacy and support the suggestion of a number of studies that the legitimacy of both local and national legal institutions, and the willingness to accept their decisions, are influenced by views about the fairness of their decision-making procedures.

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