Case Visibility and the Electoral Connection in State Supreme Courts

29 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2009

See all articles by Damon M. Cann

Damon M. Cann

Utah State University - Department of Political Science

Teena Wilhelm

University of Georgia

Date Written: August 7, 2009

Abstract

Critics traditionally portray state supreme court elections as low-information events that fail to accomplish the stated goal of engendering accountability to the public. Recent changes in the intensity of contestable judicial elections have led scholars to consider the effect of public opinion on state court decision making. We delineate necessary conditions for judicial responsiveness to public opinion, integrating research on state court decision making with the broader literature on representation. We then empirically test our framework for judicial responsiveness. Our findings suggest that the strength of the electoral connection between state supreme court justices and their constituents is quite dependent on method of judicial retention and the visibility of the case.

Keywords: Electoral Connection, Public Opinion, State Supreme Court, Case Visibility

JEL Classification: D72, K40

Suggested Citation

Cann, Damon M. and Wilhelm, Teena, Case Visibility and the Electoral Connection in State Supreme Courts (August 7, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1445612 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1445612

Damon M. Cann (Contact Author)

Utah State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

0725 University Blvd.
Logan, UT 84322-0725
United States

Teena Wilhelm

University of Georgia ( email )

104 Baldwin Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States
7065426110 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.twilhelm.myweb.uga.edu

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