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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Judges and Their Audiences: A Perspective on Judicial Behavior

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ISBN13: 9780691138275
Published: July 2008
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: United States
Format: Paperback
Price: £18.95

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What motivates judges as decision makers? Political scientist Lawrence Baum offers a new perspective on this crucial question, a perspective based on judges' interest in the approval of audiences important to them. The conventional scholarly wisdom holds that judges on higher courts seek only to make good law, good policy, or both. In these theories, judges are influenced by other people only in limited ways, in consequence of their legal and policy goals. In contrast, Baum argues that the influence of judges' audiences is pervasive. This influence derives from judges' interest in popularity and respect, a motivation central to most people. Judges care about the regard of audiences because they like that regard in itself, not just as a means to other ends."Judges and Their Audiences" uses research in social psychology to make the case that audiences shape judges' choices in substantial ways. Drawing on a broad range of scholarship on judicial decision-making and an array of empirical evidence, the book then analyzes the potential and actual impact of several audiences, including the public, other branches of government, court colleagues, the legal profession, and judges' social peers. Engagingly written, this book provides a deeper understanding of key issues concerning judicial behavior on which scholars disagree, identifies aspects of judicial behavior that diverge from the assumptions of existing models, and shows how those models can be strengthened.

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List of Tables ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xiii Chapter 1: Thinking about Judicial Behavior 1 Models of Judicial Behavior 5 Shared Assumptions: The Judge as Mr. Spock 9 Limitations of the Dominant Models 19 Audience as a Perspective 21 Chapter 2: Judging as Self-Presentation 25 People and Their Audiences 25 Judicial Self-Presentation: A First Look 32 Audiences and Judicial Behavior 43 Chapter 3: Court Colleagues, the Public, and the Other Branches of Government 50 Court Colleagues 50 The General Public 60 The Other Branches 72 Conclusions 85 Chapter 4: Social and Professional Groups 88 Social Groups 88 Professional Groups: Lawyers and Judges 97 Conclusions 116 Chapter 5: Policy Groups, the News Media, and the Greenhouse Effect 118 Policy Groups 118 The News Media 135 A Greenhouse Effect? 139 Conclusions 155 Appendix: Procedures for Analysis of Voting Change by Supreme Court Justices 155 Chapter 6: Implications for the Study of Judicial Behavior 158 Motivational Bases for the Dominant Models 158 Departures from the Dominant Models 162 Probing the Impact of Judicial Audiences 171 Some Final Thoughts 174 References 177 Name Index 221 Subject and Case Index 229