Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment

By Christopher E. Smith | Go to book overview

5
The Influence of the Individual Justice

Scholars face a daunting task when attempting to analyze precisely the roles and influence of individual justices on the Supreme Court. Although the individual decision makers on the high court--unlike decision makers in larger, bureaucratic institutions--are few in number and therefore identifiable, the secretive traditions of the judicial branch impede accurate assessments of many aspects of justices' behavior. The justices' discussions with each other are secret, except on the infrequent occasions when law clerks leak information to the press, and the justices rarely agree to be interviewed by scholars or the news media. Because the Supreme Court is not accessible to scholars who wish to examine in detail the justices' attitudes and decision-making behavior, the analysis in this book, like other books on Supreme Court decision- making processes, necessarily relies on the interpretation of developments in justices' opinions, justices' voting patterns, and anecdotal information reported by scholars and the news media. Interpretive works of this sort, despite their prevalence in the field of Supreme Court politics and constitutional law, inevitably generate debates among scholars about whether the evidence relied upon actually supports an author's asserted conclusions.

-121-

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Justice Antonin Scalia and the Supreme Court's Conservative Moment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Supreme Court's Conservative Moment 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Justice Antonin Scalia 25
  • Conclusion 50
  • Notes 51
  • 3 - Justice Scalia's Judicial Behavior 55
  • Notes 73
  • 4 - Justice Scalia and the Failure of the Conservative Agenda 77
  • Notes 115
  • 5 - The Influence of the Individual Justice 121
  • Notes 134
  • Select Bibliography 137
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 148
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