Authored by two leading scholars of the Supreme Court and its policy making, this study systematically presents and validates the use of the attitudinal model to explain and predict Supreme Court decision making. In the process, it critiques the two major alternative models of Supreme Court decision making and their major variants--the legal and rational choice. Using the U.S. Supreme Court Data Base, the justices' private papers, and other sources of information, the book analyzes the appointment process, certiorari, the decision on the merits, opinion assignments, and the formation of opinion coalitions.
1. Introduction: Supreme Court policy making; 2. Models of decision making I: the legal model; 3. Models of decision making II: the attitudinal and rational choice models; 4. A political history of the Supreme Court; 5. Staffing the Court; 6. Getting into Court; 7. The decision on the merits: the legal process; 8. The decision on the merits: the attitudinal and rational choice models; 9. Opinion assignment and opinion coalitions; 10. The Supreme Court and constitutional democracy; 11. Conclusion.
"...the book represents the culmination of an academic conversation dating back to the 1940s and sets the stage for the next phase." Perspectives on Political Science
"...a worthy successor to The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model (1993). In sum [this] is an excellent book. Almost anyone with an interest in Supreme Court decision making will find a lot to like within its pages. Serious scholars of judicial behavior should definitely find a place for this book on their personal library shelves." The Law and Politics Book Review
"A first-rate book and a perfect companion reader for courses in constitutional law and judicial policy." Choice