While panel effects—instances in which panel composition affects the votes cast by judges—have been widely documented, scholars are unsure why these patterns persist. We outline three possible mechanisms, acquiescence, deliberation, and strategy, through which panel effects might occur; develop indicators for each; and test them using a data set of search and seizure cases decided by the US courts of appeals between 1953 and 2010. Our analysis provides some evidence that counterjudge success stems from a combination of all three theories, although strategic considerations have the substantively strongest and most consistent effects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations