The impact of selection method on counter-majoritarian behavior by state supreme courts
Rivner, Asher Louis
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This thesis presents a preliminary systematic examination of the effect that selection method and term length have on a state supreme court justice's decision to overturn legislation through the exercise of judicial review. It examines all judicial review cases heard between 1995-1999 by the Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kansas, New Jersey, Iowa, New York, and South Carolina supreme courts. This study produced statistically significant results indicating that term length and selection method both play a role in judicial decision making. It also found that term length has a greater influence on the decision making of elected justices than on appointed justices. It reinforces the importance of the theoretical debate amongst judicial scholars over what role a non-elected body should play in a democratic system. These results also suggest a new avenue for judicial politics scholars to pursue in future research.