Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Psychology of the Supreme Court$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lawrence S. Wrightsman

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306040.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 October 2020

Can the Court’s Decisions Be Predicted?

Can the Court’s Decisions Be Predicted?

(p.229) 10 Can the Court’s Decisions Be Predicted?
The Psychology of the Supreme Court

Lawrence S. Wrightsman

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the actual degree of predictability of outcomes of cases, as well as the votes of individual justices. It presents three hypotheses about the predictability of outcomes, and all are verified. Accuracy of predictions emerges much more strongly for cases involving ideology-driven issues; some justices (mostly the conservatives) are more predictable than others; and the statistical model fared fairly well in most types of cases, but the experts' predictions were not much higher than chance. However, no system of prediction is perfect. Of 72 cases in the 2002-2003 term, in seven (or almost 10 percent), the decision of the Court was contrary to the prediction from the statistical model and that of every expert used by the Washington University Forecasting Project.

Keywords:   Supreme Court, judicial decision-making, case outcomes, justices

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .