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Western Michigan University

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Clean Water Act

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Judicial Behavior And Litigant Success In Environmental Cases At The United States Court Of Appeals, Elizabeth Wheat Dec 2013

Judicial Behavior And Litigant Success In Environmental Cases At The United States Court Of Appeals, Elizabeth Wheat

Dissertations

This dissertation tests the legal model of judicial behavior and uses party capability, or litigant resource, theory to explain litigant success in the Court of Appeals for environmental cases and help understand the role litigant type and resources play. Environmental law has received little attention in judicial politics, and I examine which judicial behavior model explains case outcomes. The legal model argues case characteristics best explain judicial outcomes, whereas litigant resource theory posits judicial a litigant’s resources, or lack thereof, explain outcomes.

Galanter’s (1974) party capability theory focuses on advantages repeat players, the “haves,” possess and how these ...