Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Coalition formation in the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969-2009

Brams, Steven J. and Camilo, Gustavo and Franz, Alexandra D. (2011): Coalition formation in the U.S. Supreme Court: 1969-2009.

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Abstract

We apply a fallback model of coalition formation to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, focusing on the seven natural courts, which had the same members for at least two terms, between 1969 and 2009. The predictions of majority coalitions on each of the courts are generally bourn out by the 5-4 decisions, whereas the predictions of the Martin-Quinn (2002) model, which assumes a single underlying dimension along which the justices can be ordered, are not. The present model also provides insight into the dynamic process by which subcoalitions build up into majority coalitions and, in addition, identifies "kingmakers” and “leaders” on the natural courts.

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