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Measuring Judicial Activism$
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Stefanie A. Lindquist and Frank B. Cross

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195370850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195370850.001.0001

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A Multidimensional View of Judicial Activism

A Multidimensional View of Judicial Activism

(p.133) eight A Multidimensional View of Judicial Activism
Measuring Judicial Activism

Stefanie A. Lindquist

Frank B. Cross (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This final chapter constructs a composite measure of judicial activism based on the components developed in prior chapters. First, the chapter places the justices in a two-dimensional space reflecting their levels of ideological activism and institutional activism. The figure representing these two dimensions demonstrates that some justices are both ideologically and institutionally activist, with Justice Douglas the most activist among those studied during the period 1954 to 2004. In contrast, Justices White and Burger appear relatively restraintist as compared to their colleagues. Others are ideologically activist but not institutionally activist (e.g. Justice Rehnquist). Thus the chapter provides a comparison of the justices using a multifaceted measure of judicial activism that incorporates the five elements explored individually in Chapters 3 through 7. Finally, the chapter includes reflections on the relative positions of the justices on the “activism scale” of this book and the extent to which the behavior identified as “activism” is, to some degree, historically contingent.

Keywords:   multidimensional, composite measure, resraint, activism scale

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