Measuring subjective ideological disagreement with the us supreme court

Michael J. Nelson, James L. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that judicial legitimacy should be relatively unaffected by satisfaction with the ideological direction of judicial policy making. Recent studies challenge this assertion. The key to resolving this conundrum is estimating individual-level satisfaction with the ideological direction of judicial policy making reliably and validly. We examine the accuracy of several common measures of the concept. We find that 40% of the respondents repudiate their own scores on these measures. With this much systematic measurement error in such an important independent variable, the question of whether the Supreme Court’s institutional legitimacy is conditional on ideological agreement with its decisions must be reexamined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-94
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Law and Courts
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law

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