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Of Time and Consensual Norms in the Supreme Court (ICPSR 1142) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The authors argue that levels of concurrence and dissent on the United States Supreme Court are functions of "consensual norms." These norms arise from, and are influenced by, the behaviors of the individual justices, including the actions of the Chief Justices. In turn, they cause concurrences and dissents to fluctuate around a common level. If consensual norms are a substantial influence on the behavior of the Court, the long-run extent of concurrence and dissent on the Court will covary substantially, and will do so to varying degrees under different Chief Justices. To test their hypotheses, the authors used cointegration and error-correction analyses of the number of Supreme Court cases with concurring and dissenting opinions, from 1800 to 1991. Because of the dramatic increase in concurrences and dissents during the 1940s, they made use of recently-developed methods for detecting cointegrating relationships in the presence of structural breaks. Consistent with expectations, dissents and concurrences moved together over time. Thus consensual norms appeared to influence substantially both concurrences and dissents on the Court. The effects of such norms vary in the long term under different Chief Justices.

Access Notes

  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.

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Study Description

Citation

Caldeira, Gregory A., and Christopher J.W. Zorn. Of Time and Consensual Norms in the Supreme Court. ICPSR01142-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998-07-28. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR01142.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   Supreme Court decisions, Supreme Court justices, United States Supreme Court

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Collection Notes:

(1)The binary file CNORMS.ZIP unzips to the following files: readme.txt -- a description of contents, cnorms.asc -- an ASCII text file containing space-delimited data, cnorms.dta -- Stata 5.0 data file, cnorms.rat -- RATS 4.2 data file, ci_ecm.out -- RATS 4.2 log file for unit root tests, cointegration, and error-correction results, breaktst.out -- RATS 4.2 log file containing code for and results of Gregory/Hansen cointegration/structural break tests. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

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