Popular Justice: Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court

By Sheehan, Reginald S. | Justice System Journal, January 1, 2003 | Go to article overview

Popular Justice: Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court


Sheehan, Reginald S., Justice System Journal


Popular Justice: Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court, by Jeff Yates. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

This is a timely monograph examining the relationship between the presidency and the Supreme Court of the United States. Professor Yates provides the reader with a concise, well-written analysis of the interaction between these two political branches during the modern era. The book appears at a time when current political events provide an illuminating backdrop for considering the conclusions drawn in the analysis. Although the book was written before the current political crisis unfolding on the world stage, the theoretical premises and findings provide insights into the direction we might expect the presidency-Supreme Court relationship to take.

In Popular Justice: Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court, Jeff Yates is interested in determining the extent to which the Supreme Court defers to the president or the executive branch in litigation. While there is a considerable body of research examining various aspects of the presidency-Supreme Court relationship, most of the work has been qualitative analyses of highly salient cases or descriptive statistical examinations of federal agency success. Professor Yates provides the first comprehensive and systematic empirical analysis of executive success in the Court. Additionally, this is the first empirical work that includes "presidential prestige" as an important explanatory variable in defining the extent to which the president will be successful in gaining support for his views in the Court. Drawing on research indicating that the Supreme Court is responsive to public opinion, Yates hypothesizes that public support for the president will translate into increased success rates for the executive branch. Presidential prestige has been an important factor in the executive-congressional relationship, and Yates asks the question, "Are Supreme Court justices responsive to presidential prestige in their choice to support the president and his policies?" (p. 15).

This is the guiding research question around which he builds his theoretical models. The book is developed along three lines of inquiry focusing on the primary points of interaction between the presidency and the Court involving litigation. The first empirical chapter analyzes whether public approval encourages Supreme Court support for litigants seeking increases in formal presidential power. Utilizing theoretical premises from the presidential and judicial politics literature, Yates develops an empirical model that incorporates attitudinal, political, and external factors, like public approval, into an analysis of Supreme Court support for presidential power. Consistent with the literature, he finds that the ideology of the justice is an important determinant of the vote, and the type of presidential power, i.e., domestic versus foreign policy, shapes the extent to which the Court will increase the power of the executive. Moreover, and the important new contribution of the analysis, is that even when controlling for attitudinal and political variables, the level of presidential approval and prestige is a significant determinant of Court support for presidential power.

One could argue that high-profile cases involving a request to expand formal presidential powers would be more vulnerable to the variables in Yates's model. This leads him to examine the other two points of interaction in two succeeding empirical chapters. Chapter 4 analyzes the success of federal bureaucratic agencies in the Supreme Court, and chapter 5 examines the ability of the president to influence Supreme Court outcomes by signaling policy preferences to the justices in issue areas that commonly attract the attention of the executive.

In his analysis of federal agency success, Yates argues that it is possible for the president to politicize the federal bureaucracy and use it to achieve aspects of his political agenda. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

This article 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 article

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

Cited article

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 article

Popular Justice: Presidential Prestige and Executive Success in the Supreme Court
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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

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.