The behaviour and decision-making processes of the US Supreme Court have often been examined using the legal model, which holds that Supreme Court decisions are based on the 'plain meaning' of the Constitution, the intent of the framers and precedent. This book investigates the decisions and the decision-making processes of the Supreme Court using an alternative framework: the attitudinal model, which holds that Supreme Court decisions are based on the attitudes and values of justices. Using the highly reliable US Supreme Court Judicial Data Base, compiled by Professor Spaeth, the authors examine all stages of the Court's decision-making processes, from staffing and access, to case selection, votes on the merits, opinion assignments and opinion coalitions, and judicial restraint and activism, and manage to explain and predict behaviour with a greater degree of accuracy. They also include a framework for understanding the impact of judicial decisions and the place of the Court in the American political system.
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