Professor Songer has wide ranging interests in the area of public law. His primary teaching interests include comparative courts, judicial politics and constitutional law. He also serves as the coach of the USC undergraduate Mock Trial team. Much of his research has explored judicial decision making appellate courts, especially the U.S. Courts of Appeals and more recently the top appellate courts in other common law countries. He was the principal investigator for a seven year, $800,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation to create an extensive multi-user data base on the Courts of Appeals. The first phase was archived at the ICPSR in the summer of 1997. The Courts of Appeals Data Base contains data on a random sample of more than 19,000 decisions of the courts of appeals from 1925 through 1996. He was also one of four principal investigators for The High Courts Judicial Database, a public access database created by Stacia L. Haynie, Reginald S. Sheehan, Donald R. Songer, and C. Neal Tate with the support of grants provided by the Law and Social Science Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide an extensive data base of the decisions of the top appellate courts in ten countries with English common law roots. His particular focus in this project is on the decisions and judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Law Lords in England. From this project he has recently written a book on the Supreme Court of Canada and is actively at work on two books that provide comparative analyses of the behavior of judges on appellate courts in ten nations. Other recent work has included the analysis of the effects of gender on judicial decision making and the role of courts in the expansion of human rights.
The Unanimous Decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada as a Test of the Attitudinal Model (with Julia Siripurapu), Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue Canadienne de Science Politique (2009)
Most of the empirical work on the decision making of justices on the Supreme Court...
Judicial Decision Making In the Supreme Court of Canada: Updating the Personal Attribute Model (with Susan W. Johnson), Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue Canadienne de Science Politique (2007)
This study seeks to add to the current understanding of the political nature of the...
Strategic Auditing in a Political Hierarchy: An Informational Model of the Supreme Court's Certiorari Decisions (with Charles M. Cameron and Jeffrey A. Segal), American Political Science Review (2000)
We examine how the Supreme Court uses signals and indices from lower courts to determine...
The Religious Right in Court: the Decision Making of Christian Evangelicals in State Supreme Courts (with Susan J. Tabrizi), Journal of Politics (1999)
Much has been written recently about the emergence of evangelicals and others often labeled the...
Law and Politics in Judicial Oversight of Federal Administrative Agencies (with Martha Anne Humphries), Journal of Politics (1999)
Administrative agencies play a substantial role in the formulation and implementation of national policy Central...
The Transformation of the Supreme Court of Canada: An Empirical Examination, Faculty Publications (2008)
Continuity and Change on the United States Courts of Appeals (with Reginald S. Sheehan and Susan B. Haire), Faculty Publications (2000)
Judicial Review in State Supreme Courts: A Comparative Study by Laura Langer, American Political Science Review (2002)
A review of Judicial Review in State Supreme Courts: A Comparative Study by Laura Langer.
Majority Rule or Minority Will: Adherence to Precedent on the US Supreme Court by Harold J. Spaeth and Jeffrey A. Segal, American Political Science Review (1999)
A review of Majority Rule or Minority Will: Adherence to Precedent on the US Supreme...