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Five-Four: Dissecting Supreme Court Tightly Split Decisions

Five-Four: Dissecting Supreme Court Tightly Split Decisions

Regular price $39.95 USD
Regular price $39.95 USD Sale price $39.95 USD
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This book develops new techniques to see the work of supreme courts, work characterized by much greater complexity than that seen either by the usual lawyers’ focus on one topic’s current law or popular and media focus of left versus right. For example, the book measures the “fluidity” of the voting coalitions in tightly split decisions of various supreme court compositions. The book presents (including in enclosed fold-out posters) visualizations showing the vastly complex oppositional geometry of tightly split decisions. And the book offers some interesting applications of these techniques. The visualization of criminal procedure decisions produces six dimensions in a single subject matter. The book identifies three “Super-Dissenters” who shaped the Court’s output—and a paradox that, regardless of the overall ideology of the United States Supreme Court, its 5–4 decisions have a measurable conservative tilt, the investigation of which shows how 5–4 splits are formed and leads us to the conclusion that the justices are not driven by politics.

By analyzing the vast complexity of judging using new techniques of simple quantification and visualization, this book makes a contribution to understanding how supreme courts work. The authors believe that there is more work to be done in this regard and hope that readers will find more patterns to explore using techniques such as those developed here.

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