What's Law Got to Do with It? What Judges Do, Why They Do It, and What's at Stake

By Charles Gardner Geyh | Go to book overview

1 What’s Law Got to Do with it
Thoughts from “the Realm of Political Science”

Jeffrey A. Segal

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS has declared himself to be a believer in precedent, a follower of the rule of law, an umpire calling balls and strikes:

Somebody asked me, you know, “Are you going to be on the side of the little
guy?” And you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but, as you reflect
on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy’s going
to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should
win, well, then the big guy’s going to win, because my obligation is to the Con-
stitution. That’s the oath.” (Roberts 2005)

While this may have been mere show, it wasn’t mere show just for the Judiciary Committee. In a recent speech at the University of Arizona’s Rehnquist Center, Roberts declared that the shift to a Supreme Court filled exclusively with former appellate judges took constitutional law out of “the realm of political science” and onto “the more solid grounds of legal arguments. What are the texts of the statutes involved? What precedents control?”(Liptak 2009).

Let’s leave aside for the moment the fact that Roberts’s assertions are empirically false—justices who served on lower appellate courts are not more likely to abide by precedent, and are not less likely to vote ideologically than are judges without appellate court experience (Epstein et al. 2009). What is the realm of political science? A quick answer is that political science examinations of judicial decision-making have focused on four partially overlapping models of such behavior: the legal model, the historical institutional model, the attitudinal model, and the strategic model.

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
What's Law Got to Do with It? What Judges Do, Why They Do It, and What's at Stake
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 356

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.