Supreme Court Theory

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Scholars of judicial politics have studied how the Supreme Court determines which cases to review. Some scholars look to a theoretical game model, which suggests that a conservative higher court would probabilistically review liberal decisions of a lower court judge than review conservative decisions regardless of the facts of the case. Other scholars look to the threat of Congressionally induced factors which influences the Supreme Court’s agenda. Game theory tries to prove that the justices will act strategically when trying to grant writs according to their ideology. In “Strategic Auditing in a political Hierarchy”, Cameron, Segal, and Songer are specifically looking at search and seizure cases from 1972 to 1986, and the writs that were…show more content…
In terms of doctrinal conformity, the supreme court decision can still conform to doctrine, but not conform to the decision they passed. The problem with the hierarchy between the district, circuit, and the Supreme Court is that they are all essentially equal because they “cannot cut salaries, give bonuses, or offer stock options”, thus, they all receive the same kind of benefits. The Supreme Court possesses “none of the motivational tools typically employed by hierarchical superiors” such as the inability to offer people high salaries, thus, there is no incentive mechanism. They do not have any of the traditional tools for lower court judges; instead, they have sanctions. Informal sanctions supplement with formal rules, and avoiding reversals are one of the informal motivations for the lower courts. Lower courts desire to avoid reversal, and do not want to be overturned as there is prestige about having a decision made that is not being constantly reviewed and consequently…show more content…
In contrast, a person who files a petition for writ of certiorari, and claims that a judge was mistaken, the petition will not likely be accepted for considerations. In addition to the solicitor general, amici participation from various institutions suggest to the supreme court that the case is a priority, and should solve the legal problem. They look at how many are involved to sense how much of an organized position is being called upon and be brought before the court. When renowned organizations become involved, the probability of the court accepting review and have the petition granted increases. Regardless of the position the organizations argue for, the mere involvement of an amici significantly influences the case’s prominence. To the authors, this is otherwise considered as a cue. The signaling theory revolves around two issues: meaning and credibility. The meaning relates to the identity of the signal such as who is the sender of the signal. Credibility would be like an amici; did it come from a credible organization or from an organization with low

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