Date of Award
Charles E. Smith
John M. Czarnetsky
Miles T. Armaly
This thesis seeks to explore natural courts and ideology among members of the Supreme Court. Most studies of the Supreme Court allocate focus to the chief justice such that the justice and his ideology determines whether the Court will be described as liberal or conservative for the chief's tenure. However, this thesis questions this model of distinction for the highest court in the land. An analysis of natural courts from Marshall through Roberts specifically targets the highest and lowest ideological shifts between natural courts to understand how vacancies and replacements manipulate the ideology of the Court. In addition to the changes in justices on the Court, this thesis investigates how the length of a natural court affects voting behavior. The analysis of these two factors leads the author to conclude that the current model of labeling a given court is insufficient in capturing the ideology. While a change in the chief justice may shift the ideology of the Court one way or the other, such evidence only further substantiates the claim that it is the most junior justice who determines the ideological shift of the Court.
Moses, Lauren, "An Analysis of Natural Courts: How vacancies and replacements on the Supreme Court best determine the ideological shifts of the Court and what effect longevity has on ideology." (2020). Honors Theses. 1894.
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