Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Journal of Law and Courts

Volume

4

Issue

1

Pages

159–185

Publisher Name

Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association

Abstract

Unable to directly control the policy articulated by the Supreme Court, dissenting justices are faced with the challenge of finding alternative ways to pursue their policy goals. We argue that one strategy available to them is to use their power over the language of a dissenting opinion to increase the media attention paid to a case. Our results show that cases with negative dissents attract more media coverage, which creates a variety of mechanisms through which a dissenter’s policy preferences could be realized, such as inducing Congress to take action, influencing public debate on the issue, and provoking further litigation. This finding ultimately suggests that dissenters, while disadvantaged, are not powerless to affect legal policy.

Comments

Author Posting © Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of the Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Journal of Law and Courts, Volume 4, Issue 1, Spring 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684788

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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