Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Douglas R. Rice
    Issue Divisions and US Supreme Court Decision Making
    in Journal of Politics (The) , Volume 79, Number 1 ,  2017 ,  210–222
    Majority opinions are the most important output of the US Supreme Court, not only disposing the instant case but also providing guidance for other institutions, lower courts, and litigants as to the state of the law. The authoring of dissenting opinions, though, is frequently regarded as deleterious to the Court’s institutional legitimacy and the efficacy of the majority opinion. Leveraging the content of all Court opinions between 1979 and 2009, I argue dissenting justices use dissenting opinions to strategically alter the issue dimensions addressed in the majority opinion. An examination of the effect of separate opinion content on majority opinions indicates dissenting opinions yield majority opinions addressing a greater number of topics, and I provide evidence that the dynamic is driven by the strategic behavior of dissenting justices seeking to realign the Court.
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