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Article
The Rule of Law or the Rule of Politics? Harmonizing the Internal and External Views of Supreme Court Decision Making
Law & Social Inquiry (2005)
  • Stephen M. Feldman, University of Wyoming
Abstract
Law professors and political scientists generally subscribe to opposed theories of Supreme Court decision making. Law professors, to a great degree, adhere to an internal view: Supreme Court justices decide cases according to legal rules, principles, and precedents. Political scientists follow an external view: justices decide cases according to their political ideologies or preferences. This Article develops an interpretive-structural theory that harmonizes these seemingly opposed views. This interpretive-structural theory not only explains why the internal and external views often are both effective but also why, sometimes, one approach might be more effective than the other. The Article concludes by comparing the interpretive-structural theory with the “new institutionalism” that is emerging in political science.
Keywords
  • judicial decision-making,
  • United States Supreme Court,
  • political science
Disciplines
Publication Date
2005
Citation Information
Stephen M. Feldman. "The Rule of Law or the Rule of Politics? Harmonizing the Internal and External Views of Supreme Court Decision Making" Law & Social Inquiry Vol. 30 (2005)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen_m_feldman/20/