Where is the Sin in Sincere? Sophisticated Manipulation of Sincere Judicial Voters
Posted: 2 May 2000
In this article we present one of the first small-group voting models that allows sophisticated and sincere voters to interact. We investigate sophistication in a particular sequential setting, where the decision of the group may be revised by another voting group. Although the discussion is phrased in terms of judges, courts and congress, the model applies to a wider array of situations. We use this framework to investigate the likelihood that courts include sophisticated and sincere judicial voters sitting together. The main conclusion of our framework is that if sincere voting in the courts were to be the norm, then we should observe a pattern of behavior inconsistent with the available evidence. First, subsequent congressional reversals of judicial decisions should be common. Second, judicial opinions will tend to be the outcome of liberal/conservative coalitions. Neither outcome is the prevalent norm of judicial decisionmaking. We suggest, then, that scholars of the judicial system may, at least for the time being, assume that sophisticated behavior among justices is the norm rather than the exception.
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation