Judicial review and judicial decision making : a multivariate model of U.S. Supreme Court behavior
Byrne, Jennifer Eileen
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This paper examines the characteristics that influence U.S. Supreme Court decision making. These factors are grouped into the attitudinal, institutional, and legal models respectively. The data consists of 170 judicial review cases where both a challenge and a strike to a statute exist. The results indicate that civil liberties statutes, in addition to state and local statutes, are most likely to be ruled unconstitutional by the Court. The Court is not sensitive to Congress or the presidency. The impact of the solicitor general is significant, while the impact of interest groups is insignificant. Conservative justices are overall less likely to strike down legislation, but will more often strike federal statutes in an attempt to protect states rights when they exercise their power of judicial review. In contrast, liberal justices are prone to exercise the power of judicial review, and will be more inclined to overturn state statutes and local ordinances.