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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Value Of Precedent : Appellate Briefs And Judicial Opinions In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals., Laura P. Moyer, Todd A. Collins, Susan B. Haire Sep 2016

The Value Of Precedent : Appellate Briefs And Judicial Opinions In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals., Laura P. Moyer, Todd A. Collins, Susan B. Haire

Laura Moyer

This study of appellate advocacy examines factors that affect judicial treatment of precedents identified in litigant briefs. Although we find some attorney and party characteristics influence whether a court addresses precedent cited by a party, legal resources are not as influential in determining whether the court adopts a party’s use of a precedent. At times, ideological congruence between the circuit panel and the litigant can increase the likelihood that the court’s opinion will use a precedent in the same way as presented by the litigants. There is also some support for the importance of attorney experience. Even when ...


Judicial Innovation And Sexual Harassment Doctrine In The U.S. Court Of Appeals., Laura P. Moyer, Holley Takersley Sep 2016

Judicial Innovation And Sexual Harassment Doctrine In The U.S. Court Of Appeals., Laura P. Moyer, Holley Takersley

Laura Moyer

The determination that sexual harassment constituted “discrimination based on sex” under Title VII was first made by the lower federal courts, not Congress. Drawing from the literature on policy diffusion, this article examines the adoption of hostile work environment standards across the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the absence of controlling Supreme Court precedent. The results bolster recent findings about the influence of female judges on their male colleagues and suggest that in addition to siding with female plaintiffs, female judges also helped to shape legal rules that promoted gender equality in the workplace.


Diversity, Deliberations, And Judicial Opinion Writing., Susan B. Haire, Laura P. Moyer, Shawn Treier Sep 2016

Diversity, Deliberations, And Judicial Opinion Writing., Susan B. Haire, Laura P. Moyer, Shawn Treier

Laura Moyer

Underlying scholarly interest in diversity is the premise that a representative body contributes to robust decision-making processes. Using an innovative measure of opinion content, we examine this premise by analyzing deliberative outputs in the US courts of appeals (1997-2002). While the presence of a single female or minority did not affect the attention to issues in the majority opinion, panels composed of a majority of women or minorities produced opinions with significantly more points of law compared to panels with three Caucasian males.


Competing Social Movements And Local Political Culture : Voting On Ballot Propositions To Ban Same-Sex Marriage., Arnold Fleischmann, Laura Moyer Sep 2016

Competing Social Movements And Local Political Culture : Voting On Ballot Propositions To Ban Same-Sex Marriage., Arnold Fleischmann, Laura Moyer

Laura Moyer

Objective: This paper uses social movement theory to explain variation in local support for proposed constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in 22 states during 2004 and 2006. Methods: The analysis uses OLS regression with county-level data to explain variation in local support for the amendments. Results: Support for the amendments in both years was positively related to the proportion of a county that was evangelical or Republican, but negatively related to its level of education and proportion of Catholics. Amendment support was positively related in only one year to the percentage of a county’s population that was professional ...


Gender, Race, And Intersectionality On The Federal Appellate Bench., Todd Collins, Laura Moyer Sep 2016

Gender, Race, And Intersectionality On The Federal Appellate Bench., Todd Collins, Laura Moyer

Laura Moyer

While theoretical justifications predict that a judge’s gender and race may influence judicial decisions, empirical support for these arguments has been mixed. However, recent increases in judicial diversity necessitate a reexamination of these earlier studies. Rather than examining individual judges on a single characteristic, such as gender or race alone, this research note argues that the intersection of individual characteristics may provide an alternative approach for evaluating the effects of diversity on the federal appellate bench. The results of cohort models examining the joint effects of race and gender suggest that minority female judges are more likely to support ...


Trailblazers And Those That Followed : Personal Experiences, Gender, And Judicial Empathy., Laura P. Moyer, Susan B. Haire Sep 2016

Trailblazers And Those That Followed : Personal Experiences, Gender, And Judicial Empathy., Laura P. Moyer, Susan B. Haire

Laura Moyer

This paper investigates one causal mechanism that may explain why female judges on the federal appellate courts are more likely than men to side with plaintiffs in sex discrimination cases. To test whether personal experiences with inequality are related to empathetic responses to the claims of female plaintiffs, we focus on the first wave of female judges, who attended law school during a time of severe gender inequality. We find that female judges are more likely than their male colleagues to support plaintiffs in sex discrimination cases, but that this difference is seen only in judges who graduated law school ...


Rethinking Critical Mass In The Federal Appellate Courts., Laura Moyer Sep 2016

Rethinking Critical Mass In The Federal Appellate Courts., Laura Moyer

Laura Moyer

This article draws from critical mass studies of gender in other political institutions to inform an application to the US Courts of Appeals. The results demonstrate the utility of considering court-level aspects of diversity. As mixed-sex panels become more common within a circuit, both male and female judges increasingly support plaintiffs in civil rights claims, though the magnitude of the effect is larger for women. The presence of a female chief judge is also positively associated with pro-plaintiff decisions by men and women in sex discrimination cases.


The Role Of Case Complexity In Judicial Decision Making., Laura P. Moyer Sep 2016

The Role Of Case Complexity In Judicial Decision Making., Laura P. Moyer

Laura Moyer

The literature on ideology and decision making offers conflicting expectations about how judges’ ideology should affect their votes in cases that raise many legal issues. Using cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals, I examine the strength of ideology as a predictor of sincere voting in single and multi-issue cases and test whether the same effect for ideology can be seen for liberal and conservative judges. For all judges, ideology yields a larger effect as the number of issues increases; however, conservative judges are much more likely than liberal judges to cast sincere votes at all levels of complexity.