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Double Agents: An Exploration of the Motivations of Court of Appeals Judges
Scott, Kevin Matthew

2002, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Political Science.
Judges of the United States courts of appeals represent a unique class of American political actors. While their subordinate status to the Supreme Court might be expected to make them faithful agents of the Supreme Court, other components of their environment might be expected to counteract the pressure to execute the wishes of the Supreme Court. The broader question of the motivation of the court of appeals judges lies at the heart of this project. I argue that previous work on court of appeals judges has not devoted sufficient attention to the possible variety of goals of court of appeals judges and the means they use to accomplish those goals. Using reversal of court of appeals decisions by the Supreme Court, I subject to empirical test three competing explanations for the motivations of court of appeals judges. I argue that judges might consider policy goals or goals related to making good law. If they choose to follow policy goals, they may attempt to do so using sincere or strategic means. Looking at two different units of analysis, I test hypotheses designed to test for the presence of three types of behavior. I follow up by looking at the relationship between the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court as an illustration of the potential implications of different types of behavior by court of appeals judges. My findings provide support for the argument that scholars should consider the possibility that court of appeals judges attempt to accomplish multiple goals and do so using multiple means. This suggests that a reexamination of the assumptions previously held by researchers who study the courts of appeals may want to be more explicit about the nature of their research and more careful when discussing the implications of their results.
Lawrence Baum (Advisor)
226 p.

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Scott, K. (2002). Double Agents: An Exploration of the Motivations of Court of Appeals Judges. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Scott, Kevin. "Double Agents: An Exploration of the Motivations of Court of Appeals Judges." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2002. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 22 Jun 2017.

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Scott, Kevin "Double Agents: An Exploration of the Motivations of Court of Appeals Judges." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2002. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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