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Deferring, Deliberating, or Dodging Review

Explaining Counterjudge Success in the US Courts of Appeals

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Rachael K. Hinkle
Affiliation:
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Michael J. Nelson
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
Morgan L. W. Hazelton*
Affiliation:
Saint Louis University
*
Contact the corresponding author, Morgan L. W. Hazelton, at hazeltonml@slu.edu.

Abstract

While panel effects—instances in which panel composition affects the votes cast by judges—have been widely documented, scholars are unsure why these patterns persist. We outline three possible mechanisms, acquiescence, deliberation, and strategy, through which panel effects might occur; develop indicators for each; and test them using a data set of search and seizure cases decided by the US courts of appeals between 1953 and 2010. Our analysis provides some evidence that counterjudge success stems from a combination of all three theories, although strategic considerations have the substantively strongest and most consistent effects.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© 2020 by the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

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Footnotes

We thank Steven Morgan, Steven Saroka, Trevor Bachus, and Patience Kapfer for exceptional research assistance and Susan Haire, Steve Puro, Lee Epstein, Erin Delaney, John Szmer, and participants at the 2017 Conference on Empirical Legal Studies for helpful feedback on this project. Author order is by rotation; all authors contributed equally. Some of the data used in this research were originally collected using support provided by National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant SES-1155066. Data and code necessary to replicate the analyses in this article are available on the authors’ websites and the Journal of Law and Courts Dataverse at https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/ORDSAZ.

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