In 2003, Roy Moore, also known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," became the focus of extensive media attention for his efforts to keep a monument of the Biblical "Ten Commandments" erected in the rotunda of the state judicial building. The then-chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court refused to obey a district court order to remove the monument, which resulted in his dismissal. Highlights from the incident included peaceful protests in front of the judicial building, as well as a speech by a Moore-supporter who called the federal court that issued the order "an unelected, non-accountable, arrogant, imperialistic judiciary determined to shove their beliefs down our throats."1
Moore's dramatic behavior drew national attention to the judicial system and, in particular, state supreme courts.2 But despite scrutiny by the media, little is known about the leaders of these courts of last resort. Previous discussion of state supreme court justices has focused on the court as a whole, and has spoken to such democratic issues as representation and access.3 These compositional studies have assessed the extent to which method of judicial recruitment impacts the representative nature of these courts. Similarly, scholarship on the chief justices of state supreme courts has focused on recruitment and its impact on judicial behavior.4 Although these studies have contributed to a larger political dialogue regarding the democratic nature of the judiciary, a descriptive picture of the ideological tenor of the chief justices on American state supreme courts remains absent from the literature.
The example of Chief Justice Moore demonstrates the growing importance of state supreme court chief justices and the political aftermath these court leaders can spark. Newspapers articles about state supreme courts further suggest the chief justice position is essential for encouraging or discouraging interbranch relations.s Similarly, scholars have found that chief justices can build or destroy consensus within the court.6 Langer et al. argue that this consensus affects unanimity which, in turn, affects public confidence or congressional response.7 A more recent study demonstrates that the ideological tenor of chief justices influences the size of majority opinion coalitions on state supreme courts.8 Fundamentally, the chief justice has an integral role not only within the court but also in how the court is represented as an independent branch.
The important role of the chief justice is not limited to state supreme courts. There is a voluminous body of literature on the role of the United States Supreme Court chief justice, which has demonstrated that the chief justice's leadership style and skills, along with the powers afforded his position, have influenced many norms, decision making, opinion writing, and consensus.
For example, some scholars studying U.S. Supreme Court chief justices have demonstrated that the degree of consensus and conflict on the Court is influenced in part by the chief's leadership style and ability.9 Others have found that the chief justice can maximize his policy goals by assigning the majority opinion to the justice ideologically closest to him in cases where he is in the majority.10
In addition to shaping decisions and the decision-making process, scholars have found the chief justice also influences the institutional organization of the Court. Specifically, they have found that organizational goals, such as efficiency, expertise, and number of opinion assignments per justice, predict opinion assignments.11 Another important function of the chief justice is his ability to alter the size of majority opinion coalitions and keep fragile majorities in tact. Here too scholars have found the power to assign the majority opinion assists the chief in reaching this goal.12 The ability of the chief justice to influence the agenda has also been demonstrated by scholars.13
Clearly the role of ideology, whether that of U.S. or state supreme court chief justices, is critical to understandingjudicial behavior and courts as institutions. However, there are some fundamental differences in the powers afforded state court leaders and leaders on the U.S. Supreme Court that can impact the degree to which chief justices' ideological preferences impact judicial behavior. While both can use and have used the power of opinion assignment to shape behavior and the ideological outcome of the case, supreme court justices in only a small number of states actually have the authority to do so. Moreover, the ability of the chief justice to influence voting behavior by initiating a discussion and vote on the case merits again is limited to relatively few states.
Furthermore, U.S. Supreme Court chief justices are appointed for life. Scholars have argued that this insularity allows preferences to play a larger role in judicial behavior.14 Alternatively, state supreme court chief justices are selected by five different methods. As discussed later, variation in selection methods create varying degrees of accountability that may reduce or enhance the role of chief justice ideology on the court. In the majority of states, the chief justice is selected by the associate justices sitting on the bench and serves between 2 and 12 years.15 Some can serve consecutively, but most states have term limits.
These fundamental differences in the powers afforded to this position, selection method, and term length make the ideological tenor of the person in this office, and in particular the ideological variation across states, even more relevant. For example, the powers of chief justices on state courts of last resort have been shown to influence the ideological temperament of the chief justice when this occupant is chosen by the court.16 It may also be the case that the ideological tenor of the chief justice is influenced by the selection method or other institutional features of these courts. Fundamentally, knowing the ideology of these courts' leaders permits even broader examinations of chief justices and the role they play in judicial process and behavior.
The purpose of this article is to identify the ideological disposition of the chief justices on American state supreme courts from 1970 to 2005. The ideology of chief justices also allows us to place these leaders along an ideological continuum within and across state courts of last resort. The article first empirically tests the proposition that method of chief justice selection is related to the ideology of the person who assumes this office. Next, it examines patterns of chief justice ideology across methods of selection and retention. Then, it provides the ideological picture of state supreme court chief justices for the year 2005, identifying some of the more liberal and more conservative leaders on these courts and some justices who have recently played integral roles in judicial-legislative relations. The article concludes with observations about the ideology of state supreme court leaders. It contends that method of selection, citizen and government ideology, and region of the country help explain the ideological tenor of these individuals who are of growing importance in American politics.
Method of selection
Many scholars have explored the proposition that court composition is linked to methods of judicial selection. They have tested whether some selection methods, such as merit selection, create greater opportunities for minorities to attain a seat on state supreme court benches; however, the evidence provides little or no support for this hypothesis." Others have argued that method of selection and retention impacts the quality of justices serving on these benches. Here again, scholars have not found support for this argument.18 Although much of the literature provides mixed, little, or no support for the contention that method of selection shapes bench composition, the debate continues over the extent to which characteristics of justices are shaped by the process through which they reach the bench and the impact of method of selection and retention on judicial behavior more generally. But whether and to what extent method of selection for the role of chief justice influences his or her ideology remains elusive.
A different, but equally controversial and important, argument is that the selection and retention method creates mechanisms by which chief justices are linked to other branches of government, the public, or colleagues.19 How the leaders of state supreme courts should be selected and retained is a perennial question that is fundamentally tied to intergovernmental relations. Whose policy preferences will become and remain law is a direct function of the degree to which governmental branches are tied to one another and the power afforded this leadership position.20 The bridges between the chief justice and the government, for example, serve as a way to maintain inter-governmental policy oversight. The selection and retention of the chief justice position ultimately is about who on the court will control political power and to whom that justice is beholden.21
The method of judicial selection and retention is also another mechanism of governmental oversight, which perpetuates the system of checks and balances. The main tenets of separation of powers are not often in dispute; yet the methods of judicial selection and retention remain very much at the forefront of political debate. The attention given to this topic is in large part due to the power this mechanism affords to some and removes from others. A state's method of selecting and retaining its judges defines the source and degree of policy oversight. Whose preferences get translated into public policy is arguably directly linked to the selection and retention of judges.22
Despite the amount of attention to selection methods and state supreme court composition, as noted earlier, whether the ideology of chief justices is significantly related to method of selection has not been examined. To test this proposition, we identified all chief justices who served from 1970 to August 1, 2005 (365 different chief justices). Wc computed the ideology scores for these chief justices. This also required us to recalculate the scores for all justices serving on the bench since 1970. Moreover, we rescaled the scores to make them comparable with the other measures of ideology. These scores range from zero, indicating most conservative, to 100, indicating most liberal.23
We also identified natural courts for the entire time period. It is important to note that despite our efforts to collect complete information for each justice on every state supreme court for the entire time period, we were confronted with missing data, which primarily impact the natural courts database.
We employed Ordinary Least Squares regression to estimate a simple model of chief justice ideology. Dummy variables for selection methods of chiefjustices were included in the regression model. Due to the small number of states that use a judicial commission to select the chief justice, we combined random selection with judicial commission to create a comparison category in the regression analysis. We also included the Berry et al. measures of citizen ideology and government ideology, as well as a dummy variable for Southern states.24 Extant literature indicates public preferences and/or organized interests as well as region are likely explanations for the preferences of appointment of justices.25 Moreover, scholars have identified ideology of the executive and the legislative branch as an important determinant of the ideological tenor of justices appointed to the nation's highest courts.26
We computed the average ideology of the chief justices for each group of states according to the following five chief justice selection methods across the time period: (1) chosen by the sitting members of the court, (2) popular election, (3) gubernatorial and/or legislative appointment, (4) judicial commission, and (5) random selection or rotation.27 We also categorized state associate justice selection according to selection method, which often differs from the method of selection for chief justice. For example, some states elect associate justices via popular elections; yet the chief justice is chosen by members on the court. In other states, the government appoints associate justices, but the chief justice is selected by random rotation of the sitting justices. Finally, we plotted these average ideology scores for each year over the span of three decades. Recall, the ideology measure ranges from zero, indicating most conservative, to 100, indicating most liberal.
Figure 1 illustrates some notable comparisons across the five methods of chief justice selection. For starters, chief justices appointed by the legislature and/or governor are generally more liberal than chief justices chosen by other methods. The pattern for this group is cyclical, but remains mostly in the liberal range. The chief justices in states where the members of the court choose the leader reflect a pattern of increasing liberalness. Alternatively, popularly elected chief justices display the most conservative ideological pattern over time. The ideology of the chief justices in these states occasionally spikes in a more liberal direction, but overall the occupants of this office remain moderately conservative.
States in which the chief justice is selected randomly display a relatively flat ideological pattern. Most of the variation over time seems to exist in the states for which chief justices are selected by a council. Here, average ideology for these chief justices follows two distinct trends. A liberal trend emerges during the 1970s and continues through the mid 1980s. In the latter part of the 1980s, the average chief justice ideology becomes increasingly conservative, a trend which continues through today.
Examination of chief justice ideology aggregated by selection method and time also provides interesting commentary. As noted in Figure 2, the average ideology for chief justice shows that chief justices appointed by the government are more liberal. Similarly, chief justices selected randomly are also more liberal than those chosen in popular elections, chosen by the members on the court, or selected by a judicial commission. A simple difference of means test shows the means across categories to be statistically significantly different.
Since the patterns illustrated in the figures reflect only bivariate relationships, the correlation between selection method and chief justice ideology might attenuate when other factors are considered. Multivariate OLS regression tests whether the relationship between method of selection and ideology is significant even after controlling for other variables. A multivariate model also offers more information about the factors that explain chief justice ideology. As noted earlier, we control for citizen and government ideology the year in which the justice is appointed as chief (not the year in which the justice was first appointed/elected to the bench). We also control for chief justices on state supreme courts located in Southern states.
Results show that governmentappointed chief justices are statistically significantly more liberal compared to chief justices who are chosen by random rotation or by a judicial council. Presumably, the other branches of government perceive state supreme court chief justices as non-threatening because they have the power to appoint and retain the leaders in this position. In this way, chief justices are directly accountable to the legislature and governor. Given this power, the other branches seemingly feel freer to appoint activist justices, who are typically more liberal. However, this relationship is only significant at the less conventional .10 level of confidence. Similarly, when the selection method affords sitting members on the court the power to choose a leader, the chief justice is statistically significantly more liberal at the .05 level than counterparts selected in a random manner or by a judicial council. Alternatively, popularly elected chief justices are not statistically significantly different from those who are randomly selected or chosen by a judicial council.
Overall, these results provide some evidence that chief justice selection method can make a difference in the ideological tenor of state court leaders. Results also indicate that as the citizenry becomes more liberal, the leader of a state court of last resort is significantly more liberal. Similarly, a statistically significant relationship exists between government ideology and the ideology of the justice chosen to serve in this capacity. This finding supports extant literature on the U.S. Supreme Court that demonstrates the ideology of the justice is strongly related to the ideology of government. Finally, we find evidence that chief justices in Southern states are more liberal than those in other states. Intuitively, we would expect more conservative justices from Southern states; however, the conventional wisdom that Southern justices are more conservative might be a function of voting behavior on a single issue (e.g., death penalty). We also considered interactions between the control variables and method of selection, but none of the conditional relationships were statistically significant at the .10 level or above.
Ideology in 2005
The analysis above offers some explanations for the ideological tenor of the leaders on state supreme courts. But what is the ideology of these leaders in the year 2005? In an effort to place each chief justice along an ideological continuum relative to other members on the bench and other chief justices across the nation, we computed the average ideology for each state supreme court per state-year, the ideology for the median member on the bench, the ideology of the most liberal and conservative member on the bench, and the standard deviation of the chief justice from the median and average member on the bench. Using the standard deviation from the mean, we categorized liberal, moderate, and conservative chief justices. (We defined a liberal ideologue as at least one standard deviation above the mean and a conservative ideologue as at least one standard deviation below the mean. Moderates fall somewhere in between.)
Table 1 identifies the chief justices serving on state supreme courts as of August 1, 2005, along with their associated ideology. These leaders are ranked in order of decreasing liberalness. As the table shows, the chief justices on the Vermont, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Maryland supreme courts rank as the most liberal, respectively. Alternatively, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, and Wyoming have the most conservative chief justices.
A ranking of the states according to most liberal and conservative chief justice in 2005 compared to a ranking of the states according to most liberal and most conservative citizenry also provides valuable information. These data reveal that New Hampshire, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, and California have the greatest difference between ideology of the chief justice and public opinion. With the exception of Kentucky, the citizenry in these states is considerably more liberal than the chief justice. Alternatively, Wisconsin, Delaware, South Dakota, Missouri, and Arkansas have chief justices most similar in ideology to that of their citizenry.
Another observation from these data is that variation exists in the degree of similarity between chief justice ideology and the average ideology of all justices on the state supreme court. Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Massachusetts reflect the most divergence. On the other hand, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Iowa, and New Mexico have chief justices on the court in 2005 who are almost indistinguishable from the average associate justice. Explanation of these differences across and within states is ripe for future scholarly inquiry.
These data also indicate that variation exists between chief justices on the benches in 2005. For example, 52 percent of the chief justices serving in 2005 are ideologues according to our definition; 48 percent are in the ideological middle. We also examined the ideologies of all 365 chief justices serving during the 1970 to 2005 period and found somewhat different patterns. Here, 63 percent of chief justices are considered moderate. Alternatively, 37 percent of the leaders on these courts lean toward the extreme end of the ideology spectrum.
Impact on inter-branch relations
Our exploration revealed that chief justices on state supreme courts are significant in more ways than a numerical ideological indicator would suggest. As discussed earlier, these court leaders can impact interbranch relations. This section offers some anecdotal evidence of chief justices who potentially affectedjudiciallegislative-executive relationships.
For example, former Chief Justice Charles E. fones (Arizona) made headlines for siding with a Democratic governor.28 He was also vocal about his opposition to proposed legislative changes from Republican lawmakers that would impact the way justices are elected.29 These changes would require justices to participate in partisan elections (as opposed to appointment), receive two-thirds voter approval in retention elections, and obtain Senate confirmation upon initial appointment. Jones maintained that these changes would "inject politics into the judicial branch," and he told a House Judiciary Committee that it seemed as if legislators wanted control of the courts.30
Chief Justice Karla M. Gray (Montana) has also made headlines for her tenuous relationship with the Montana Legislature. In one instance, Gray called a press conference to express her opposition to a legislative proposal that had yet to be introduced in the Montana Legislature in an attempt to pre-empt the proposal," which would send juvenile offenders through the adult system before they had an opportunity to see a probation officer. Gray argued the press conference was called because the bill could "jeopardize Montana's kids.":'2 In another face-off, she warned the legislature of an impending confrontation of constitutional powers if the judiciary did not receive its necessary funding.33
Legislative use of the budget as a means to keep the leaders of these courts in check resulted in South Carolina's Chief Justice, Jean Hoefer Toal, making front-page news. Toal received media attention in 2004 when she hired a lobbyist to promote issues she wanted addressed by the legislature. State Representative fim Merrill expressed outrage and asked the house speaker to rescind the justice's annual invitation to address the General Assembly. Merrill also introduced a proviso to reduce Toal's budget by ,$30,000, which was the amount Toal paid the lobbyist. Representative Merrill argued the budget reduction was fair, given that Toal "evidently has it to spend."34
Thus far, stories about certain chief justices have focused on battles between court leaders and legislatures. Chief Justice Larry Starcher (West Virginia) has managed, in less than two years, to make notable waves with not only the state legislature, but also the citizens of West Virginia and the state's media. The battles began with intense public pressure that forced the chief justice to cease official use of a state vehicle. This led to a nasty exchange of published letters between Starcher and the editor of the Charleston Daily Mail?'" The incident was not Starcher's first publicized run-in with the media of West Virginia. Prior to his service as chief justice, Starcher wrote a threatening letter to the editorial staff of a local paper in which he asked the paper's staff to quit calling him "Let 'em Loose Larry."36
Another incident placed the leader of the West Virginia Supreme Court on the front pages. In 2003, Chief Justice Starcher threatened to indict a reporter from the Charleston Daily Mail for releasing a court verdict one hour earlier than Starcher ordered.37 His battles with the public and the media strained Starcher's relationship with the legislature.38 Starcher has been an advocate for affording the judiciary control over its budget. However, the West Virginia Legislature views budgetary control as a power afforded solely to the legislative body.
Growing controversy over judicial elections and the rising costs of judicial campaigns have also contributed to adverse media attention toward state chief justices.39 For example, Chief Justice Linda Trout (Idaho) made headlines because she allegedly reversed an important water rights case in order to avoid political repercussions.40 Other stories reference Trout's especially volatile re-election bid to the Idaho Supreme Court in 2002. As a result of the election, a legislative task force was formed to reconsider campaign financing of Idaho's judicial races.
This article offers a first look at the ideological tenor of 365 state supreme court chief justices who serve or have served as chief justice from 1970 through 2005. Based on the estimated ideologies of these leaders and some statistical analysis, we offer the following observations.
First, there is evidence that the ideology of state supreme court leaders varies significantly across some methods of selection for chief justice. These relationships exist even after controlling for region (i.e., Southern states), the ideology of the citizenry, and government ideology. Specifically, government-appointed and court-selected chief justices are more liberal than those chosen randomly, or by a diverse council.
Research has shown that the chief justice may be more important to other governmental branches and the court itself.41 As a result, it is not surprising that our preliminary analysis finds differences in these leaders' ideological tenor when appointed by government versus when selected by the court. Interestingly, the position for chief justice has garnered more campaign contributions over the past several years than candidates for associate justice; yet our results show the ideology of popularly elected chief justices is not significantly different from those selected randomly or by a diverse council. Clearly, method of selection matters, but it is only part of the story. At the very least, these findings suggest previous studies that demonstrate method of selection does not matter have overlooked an important characteristic-ideology.
Results also show a significant relationship between citizen ideology and the ideology of the chief justice. Citizen ideology matters regardless of method of selection, at least in our analysis. Another important observation is the relationship between government ideology and chief justice ideology. Given the strength of this relationship at the federal level, it is not surprising to find a strong relationship at the state level. Similarities between government ideology and chief justice ideology are also important because scholars have demonstrated the ability of chief justices to build interbranch relations.
A final observation is that variation exists in chief justice ideology across and within states and over time. Similarly, the degree to which the ideology of chief justices diverges from the other members on the bench varies across states and over time. Our analysis offers some suggestions for these differences, but it is only a first blush at a complex process. In the end, our discussion of the ideological tenor of chief justices on state supreme courts is meant to provide new, and valuable, information about these court leaders. It is our hope that this exploration raises some important questions about chief justices-it is an area ripe for scholarly inquiry.
Method of selection, citizen and government ideology in their state, and region of the country help account for the ideological tenor of state court leaders.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, CAREER Grant SES-0092187.
1. Bob Johnson, 'Judge Says State Now in Compliance with Order to Move Monument," Associated Press State and Local Wire, August 29, 2003.
2. For ease of presentation, our use of the phrase "state supreme court" is synonymous with "state courts of last resort."
3. see Nicholas O. Alozie, Selection Methods and the Recruitment of Women to State Courts of Last Resort, 77 Soc. Sa. Q. 110 (1996); Chris Bonneau, The composition of state supreme courts, 2000, 85 JUDICATURE 26 (2001); Kathleen A. Bratton and Rorie L. Spill, Existing Diversity and Judicial Selection: The Role of Appointment Diversity in Establishing Gender Diversity in State Supreme Courts, 83 Soc. ScI. Q. 504-18 (2002); Mark S. Hurwitz and Drew Noble Lanier, Women and minorities on state and federal appellate benches, 1985 and 1999, 85 JUDICATURE 84 (2001); Mark S. Hurwitz and Drew Noble Lanier, Explaining Judicial Diversity: The Differential Ability of Women ana Minorities to Attain Seats on State Supreme and Appellate Courts, 4 STATE POL. & POL'Y Q. 329 (2003); Henry R. Click and Craig F. Emmert, Selection systems and judicial characteristics: The recruitment of state supreme court judges, 7OjUDICATURE 228 (1987); Elliot E. Slotnick, Review Essay on Judicial Recruitment and Selection, 13 JUST. SYS. J. 109-124 (1988).
4. Laura Langer, Jody McMullen, Nick Ray, and Dan Stratton, Recruitment of Chief Justices on State Supreme Courts: A Choice Between Institutional and Personal Goals, 65 J. POL. 656 (2003).
5. "Chief Justice Tries to Pre-Empt Legislative Proposal," Associated Press State and Local Wire, January 31, 2003; "Chiefjustice Says Lawmakers Trying to Punish Court Line," Associated Press State and Local Wire (Phoenix), December 4, 2003; "State Leaders Say Chiefjustice' Actions Will be Forgotten: Others Say it Hurt Credibility," Associated Press State and Local Wire, May 27, 2001; "[Chiefjustice] Starcher Tries to Use Court-Legislator Conflict," Associated Press State and Local Wire, January 26, 2003; "Dems Talk Politics with Chiefjustice," Rocky Mountain News, April 19, 2001, at 33A.
6. see Charles H. Sheldon, The Incidence and Structure ofDissensus on a State Supreme Court, in SUPREME COURT DECISION-MAKING: NEW INSTITUTIONALIST APPROACHES, Cornell clayton and Howard Gillman (eds.) (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999); Paul Brace and Melinda Gann Hall, Neo-Institutionalism and Dissent in State Supreme Courts, 52 J. POL. 54 (1990).
7. Langer et al., supra n. 4, at 657.
8. Laura Langer, Gabe Sanchez, and Jeff Williams, "The Size of Majority Opinion Coalitions on State Supreme Courts: A Test of the Threat Hypothesis," paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2004.
9. David J. Danelski, The Influence of the Chiefjustice in the Decisional Process, in AMERICAN COURT SYSTEMS: READINCS IN JUDICIAL PROCESS AND BEHAVIOR, Sheldon Goldman and Austin Sarat (eds.) (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1960); Walter Murphy, ELEMENTS OF JUDICIAL STRATEGY (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964); S. Sidney Ulrner, Exploring Dissent Patterns of the Chief Justices: John Marshall to Warren Burger, in JUDICIAL CONFLICT AND CONSENSUS, Sheldon Goldman and Charles L. Lamb (eds.) (Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1986); Thomas G. Walker, Lee J. Epstein, and William J. Dixon, On the Mysterious Demise of Consensual Norms in the United States Supreme Court, 50 J. POL. 361 (1988); Stacie L. Haynie, leadership and Consensus on the U.S. Supreme Court, 54J. POL. 1158 (1992); Gregory A. Caldeira and Christopher J. W. Zorn, Of Time and Consensual Norms in the Supreme Court, 42 AM. J. POL. Sa. 874-902 (1998).
10. Murphy, supra n, 9; S. Sidney Ulmer, The Use of Power on the Supreme Court: The Opinion Assignments of Earl Warren, 1953-1960, 30 J. PUB. L. 49 (1970) ; David W. Rohde, Policy Goals, Strategic Choice and Majority Opinions, 16 MIDWEST J. POL. Sa. 652 (1972); David W., Rohde and Harold J. Spaeth, SUPREME COURT DECISION MAKING (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman,1976); Jeffrey A. Segal and Harold J. Spaeth, THE SUPREME COURT AND THE ATTITUDINAL MODEL (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
11. Forrest Maltzman and Paul J. Wahlbeck, May It Please the Chief? Opinion Assignments in the Rehnquist Court, 40 AM. J. POL. Sa. 421 (1996); see also Elliot E. Slotnick, VWw Speaks for the Court? Majority Opinion Assignment from Taft to Burger, 23 AM. J. POL. Sa. 60 (1979); Saul Brenner, Issue Specialization as a Variable in Opinion Assignment on the U.S. Supreme Court: A Reexamination, 35 W. POL. Q. 204 (1984); Saul Brenner and Harold J. Spaeth, Issue Specialization in Majority Opinion Assignment in the Burger Court, 39 W. POL. Q. 520-27 (1986); Saul Brenner and Jan Palmer, The time taken to write opinions as a determinant of opinion assignments, 72JUDiCATURE 179 (1988); Sue Davis, Power on the Court: Chief Justice Rehnquist's opinion assignments, 74JuDICATURE 66 (1990).
12. Murphy, supra n. 9; Rohde, supra n. 10; Rohde and Spaeth, supra a. 10.
13. Richard L. Pacelle, Jr., THK TRANSFORMATION OF THE SUPREME COURT'S AGENDA FROM THE NEW DEAL TO THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991); Sue Davis, The Chief Justice and Judicial Decision-Making: The Institutional Basis for Leadership on the Supreme Court, in clayton and Gillman, supra n. 6.
14. Segal and Spaeth, supra n. 10; Jeffrey A. Segal, Separation-of-Powers Games in the Positive Theory of Law and Courts, 91 AM. POL. Sci. REV. 28 (1997); but see Lee Epstein and Jack Knight, THE CHOICES JUSTICES MAKE (Washington, B.C.: CQ Press, 1998).
15. Langer et al., supra n. 4.
17. see, e.g., Click and Emmert, supra n. 3; Slotnick, supra n 3; Charles H. Sheldon and Linda Maule, CHOOSING JUSTICK: THE RECRUITMENT OF STATE AND FEDERAL JUSTICES (Pullman, Wash.: Washington State University Press, 1997); Bonneau, supra n. 3; Hurwitz and Lanier, Women and Minorities, supra n. 3; Hurwitz and Lanier, Explaining Judicial Diversity, supra n. 3.
18. see, e.g., Hurwitz and Lanier, Explaining Judicial Diversity, supra n. 3; Daniel Berkowitz and Karen clay, "The Effect of Judicial Independence on Courts: Evidence from the American States," Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh Mimeo (2004).
19. see, e.g., Colleen P. Danos, "Judicial Election and Judicial Independence Concerns: Stepping Up to the Plate." National Center for State Courts Memorandum IS98.1305 1-33 (1999); Berkowitz and clay, supra n. 18.
20. See Langer et al, supra n. 4.
21. Lee Epstein, Jack Knight, and Olga Shvetsova, Selecting Selection Systems, in JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AT THE CROSSROADS: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH, Stephen B. Burbank and Berry Friedman (eds.) (American Academy of Political and Social Science/Sage Publications, 2002).
23. In this paper we use a measure of judicial preferences developed in Paul Brace, Laura Langer, and Melinda Gann Hall, Measuring the Preferences of State Supreme Court Justices, 62 J. POI. 387 (2000). For annual estimates of citizen and government ideology, we use the measures from William J. Berry, Evan J. Ringquist, Richard C. Fording, and Russell L. Hanson, Measuring Citizen and Government Ideology in the American States, 1960-93,42 AM. J. POL. Sci. 327 (1998). Brace, Langer, and Hall use the ideology of the appointing government or citizenry to infer justice ideology. This score becomes our base ideology measure for each justice. We then adjust the base ideology score for the party affiliation of each justice. This is done by estimating a simple regression model where the base ideology score for each justice is the dependent variable and party of justice (l=democrat; O otherwise) is the independent variable. The regression coefficient for party of justice is used to weight the ideology score. These ideology scores were subjected to a battery of validity tests. We updated these measures for our study because the Brace et al. scores end in 1993. Additionally, we collected the data necessary to create natural courts for every state-year during 1968 to 2004. Finally, we identified every state supreme court justice, including the chiefs on the benches as of August 1, 2005, the date each chief justice was elevated to this position, and the justice's corresponding ideology when he or she was initially selected to serve as an associate justice on the bench. Ad hoc judges, temporary judges, and retired justices were excluded from ideology scores and identification of median justice ideology. Berry et al. provide a single measure of state government ideology and citizen ideology for each state and every year from 1970 to 1999. This measure is computed from the voting scores of each state's Republican and Democrat congressional delegations, which are scored by such interest groups as Americans for Democratic Action and Americans for Constitutional Action. A weighted average is then computed, based on each legislative chamber's ideology and the governor's ideology. The weighted average also takes into consideration the power of the governor and the strength of party in each chamber. The ideology scores were also subjected to validity tests. These measures were updated for the purposes of our study.
24. Berry et al., supra n. 23.
25. see, e.g., Brace et al., supra n. 23; Click and Emmert, supra n. 3.
26. see, e.g., Segal and Spaeth, supra n. 10; Charles M. Cameron, Albert D. Cover, and Jeffrey A. Segal, Senate Voting on Supreme Court Nominees: A Neoinstitutional Model, 84 AM. POL. Sa. REV. 525 (1990); BryonJ.Moraski and Charles R. Shipan, The Politics of Supreme Court Nominations: A Theory of Institutional Constraints and Choices, 43 AM. J. POL. Sci. 109 (1999); Christine Nemacheck, "Justice Confirmed: Ideology and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco (2001).
27. One way to explain random selection systems is to consider five justices sitting on the bench; each name is put into a hat. The senior justice then selects one name from the hat and that justice is elevated to the chief justice position. In rotation systems, each justice takes a turn serving as chief justice. Once every sitting justice has served as chief justice, the rotation starts over.
28. Paul Davenport., "High Court Lets Stands Budget Vetoes Challenged by Republicans," Associated Press State and Local Wire (Phoenix), December 4, 2003.
29. Paul Davenport, "Chief Justice Urges Lawmakers to Scrap Proposed Court Changes", Associated Press State and Local Wire (Phoenix), February 12, 2004, at 6.
30. Davenport, supra n. 28
31. Matt Gouras, "Chief Justice Tries to Preempt Legislative Proposal," Associated Press State and Local Wire, January 31, 2003.
33. Bob Anez, "Chief Justice: Lack of Funding Could Lead to Constitutional Clash," Associated Press State and Local Wire, March 29, 2002, at 5.
34. AP, "State Leaders Say Chief Justice's Actions Will Be Forgotten; Others Say Hurts Credibility," Associated Press State and Local Wire, May 27, 2001, at A-8; Barbour clay, S. C. Lawmakers Raise Controversial Religious Issues, The Post and Courier, February 15, 2004, at 3B.
35. AP, Justice ReturningJeef) Rather Than Be Labeled a Fat Cat: Starcher Turns in Keys After Gazette Questions Need for a State Vehicle, Charleston Gazette, May 25, 2000, at 7A.
36. Bob Kelly, High Court Makes Surprise Move; Nobody, Not Even Larry Starcher, Is Wrong All the Time, Charleston Daily Mail, December 9, 2003, at 4A.
38. Lawrence Messina, Sturdier Tries to Use CourtLegislator Conflict, Associated Press State and Local Wire, January 26, 2003.
39. see e.g., Corey Taule, Changea Called for in Judicial Elections, Idaho Falls Post Register, September 17, 2002, at Al.
40. Jim Fisher, The Last Thing Idaho Wants Is an Independent Judiciary, Lewiston Morning Tribune, October 31,'2001, at 1OA.
41. see e.g., Langer et al., supra n. 4.
LAURA LANGER is an associate professor of political science at the University of Arizona. (email@example.com)
TEENA WILHELM is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Georgia. (firstname.lastname@example.org)…