Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-zlj4b Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-27T09:53:46.209Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The Chief Justice as Executive

Judicial Conference Committee Appointments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Dawn M. Chutkow*
Affiliation:
Cornell University

Abstract

This article is the first comprehensive empirical study of chief justice appointments to the Judicial Conference committees of the US Courts, entities with influence over substantive public and legal policy. Using a newly created database of all judges appointed to serve on Judicial Conference committees between 1986 and 2012, the results indicate that a judge’s partisan alignment with the chief justice matters, as do personal characteristics such as race, experience on the bench, and court level. These results support claims that Judicial Conference committee selection, membership, and participation may present a vehicle for advancing the chief justice’s individual political and policy interests.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2014 by the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

My thanks to Theodore Eisenberg (1947–2014), Martin Wells, participants in the 2013 Cornell–Tel Aviv Empirical Legal Studies Conference, two anonymous reviewers, and the journal’s editorial board for helpful comments on earlier versions of the article. My thanks as well to Nicole Heise for her excellent research assistance.

References

Administrative Office of the US Courts. 1994. “Judicial Conference Adopts Principles for Health Care Reform.Third Branch 26 (8): 12.Google Scholar
Administrative Office of the US Courts. 2005. Annual Report of the Director. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FederalCourts/AnnualReport/2005.pdf.Google Scholar
Administrative Office of the US Courts. 2013. Annual Report of the Director. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/UnderstandingtheFederalCourts/AdministrativeOffice/DirectorAnnualReport/annual-report-2013.aspx.Google Scholar
Administrative Office of the US Courts. 2014. “Judicial Conference of the United States.” Administrative Office of the US Courts, Washington, DC. http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/JudicialConference.aspx.Google Scholar
Bell, Robert Thomas. 2013. September 17 Letter to Patrick J. Leahy. Copy on file with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Administrative Office of the US Courts, Washington, DC. http://news.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Judge-Bell-Chairman-Leahy-mandatory-minimums.pdf.Google Scholar
Carpenter, Daniel P. 2001. The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks, and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862–1928. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Committee on the Judiciary. 2013. Senate Report to Accompany S. 744 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. S. Rep. No. 113-040. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt40/pdf/CRPT-113srpt40.pdf.Google Scholar
Cross, Frank B., and Lindquist, Stefanie. 2006. “Doctrinal and Strategic Influences of the Chief Justice: The Decisional Significance of the Chief Justice.University of Pennsylvania Law Review 154:16651707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crowe, Justin. 2007. “The Forging of Judicial Autonomy: Political Entrepreneurship and the Reforms of William Howard Taft.Journal of Politics 69 (1): 7387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Figueiredo, John M., and Tiller, Emerson H.. 1996. “Congressional Control of the Courts: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Expansion of the Federal Judiciary.Journal of Law and Economics 39:435–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Epstein, Lee, Knight, Jack, and Martin, Andrew D.. 2003. “The Norm of Prior Judicial Experiences and Its Consequences for Career Diversity on the U.S. Supreme Court.California Law Review 91 (4): 903–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Epstein, Lee, Martin, Andrew D., Quinn, Kevin M., and Segal, Jeffrey A.. 2007. “Ideological Drift among Supreme Court Justices: Who, When, and How Important?Northwestern University Law Review 101:127–31.Google Scholar
Fish, Peter G. 1973. The Politics of Federal Judicial Administration. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Fish, Peter G. 1984. The Office of the Chief Justice. Charlottesville, VA: White Burkett Miller Center of Public Affairs.Google Scholar
George, Tracey E., and Williams, Margaret S.. 2013. “Who Will Manage Complex Civil Litigation? The Decision to Transfer and Consolidate Multidistrict Litigation.Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 10 (3): 424–61.Google Scholar
Geyh, Charles G. 1996. “Paradise Lost, Paradigm Found: Redefining the Judiciary’s Imperiled Role in Congress.New York University Law Review 71:11651250.Google Scholar
Geyh, Charles G. 2006. When Courts and Congress Collide: The Struggle for Control of America’s Judicial System. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Giles, Michael W., Hettinger, Virginia A., and Peppers, Todd. 2001. “Picking Federal Judges: A Note on Policy and Partisan Selection Agendas.Political Research Quarterly 54 (3): 623–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 1937. Judicial Conference Report of 1937. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 1948. Judicial Conference Report of 1948. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 1987. Judicial Conference Report of 1987. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 1995. Judicial Conference Report of 1995. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2007a. Judicial Conference Report of March 13, 2007. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2007b. Judicial Conference Report of September 18, 2007. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2008a. Judicial Conference Report of March 11, 2008. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2008b. Judicial Conference Report of September 16, 2008. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2011. Judicial Conference Report of March 15, 2011. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Judicial Conference of the US Courts. 2012. Judicial Conference Report of September 11, 2012. Washington, DC: Administrative Office of the US Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov.Google Scholar
Kagan, Robert A. 2001. Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nihan, Charles W. 1995. “A Study in Contrasts: The Ability of the Federal Judiciary to Change Its Adjudicative and Administrative Structures.American University Law Review 44 (5): 16931717.Google Scholar
Nixon, David C. 2003. “Policy-Making by a Different Means: The Chief Justice’s Attempts to Shape Policy through the Judicial Conference of the United States.Rationality and Society 15 (3): 345–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olson, Walter K. 1991. The Litigation Explosion: What Happened When America Unleashed the Lawsuit. New York: Truman Talley Books, Dutton.Google Scholar
Padelford, Norman J. 1932. “The Federal Judicial Conference.American Political Science Review 26 (3): 482–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pfander, James E. 2013. “The Chief Justice, the Appointment of Inferior Officers, and the ‘Court of Law’ Requirement.Northwestern University Law Review 107 (3): 1125–80.Google Scholar
Pinello, Daniel R. 1999. “Linking Party to Judicial Ideology in American Courts: A Meta-analysis.Justice System Journal 20:219.Google Scholar
Poole, Keith T. 1998. “Estimating a Basic Space from a Set of Issue Scales.American Journal of Political Science 42:954–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poole, Keith T. 2005. “Common Space Scores, Congresses 75–108 (March 9, 2005).” Department of Political Science, University of Georgia. http://voteview.com/basic.htm.Google Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard. 1997. Congress: A Political-Economic History of Roll Call Voting. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Posner, Richard A. 1996. The Federal Courts: Challenge and Reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Resnik, Judith. 1998. “The Federal Courts and Congress: Additional Sources, Alternative Texts, and Altered Aspirations.Georgetown Law Journal 86:25892636.Google Scholar
Resnik, Judith. 2000. “The Programmatic Judiciary: Lobbying, Judging, and Invalidating the Violence against Women Act.Southern California Law Review 74:269–75.Google Scholar
Resnik, Judith. 2010. “Drafting, Lobbying, and Litigating VAWA: National, Local, and Transnational Interventions on Behalf of Women’s Equality.Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law 11:557–69.Google Scholar
Ruger, Theodore W. 2004. “The Judicial Appointment Power of the Chief Justice.University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 7:341427.Google Scholar
Ruger, Theodore W. 2006. “The Chief Justice’s Special Authority and the Norms of Judicial Power.University of Pennsylvania Law Review 154:1551–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ruger, Theodore W. 2007. “Chief Justice Rehnquist’s Appointments to the FISA Court: An Empirical Perspective.Northwestern University Law Review 101 (1): 239–58.Google Scholar
Sisk, Gregory C., and Heise, Michael. 2005. “Judges and Ideology: Public and Academic Debates about Statistical Measures.Northwestern University Law Review 99 (2): 743804.Google Scholar
Stancil, Paul J. 2010. “Close Enough for Government Work: The Committee Rulemaking Game.Virginia Law Review 96 (1): 69133.Google Scholar
Tacha, Deaell R. 1995. “Judges and Legislators: Enhancing the Relationship.American University Law Review 44:1537–59.Google Scholar
Wheeler, Russell. 2003. A New Judge’s Introduction to Federal Judicial Administration. Washington, DC: Federal Judicial Center.Google Scholar