Setting a Judicial Agenda: The Decision to Grant En Banc Review in the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Authors


Micheal Giles is Goodrich C. White Professor of political science, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. Thomas Walker is Goodrich C. White Professor of political science, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. Christopher Zorn is associate professor of political science, University of South Carolina, Columbia SC 29208.

Abstract

Agenda setting has received only modest attention in studies of the judiciary. This reflects the limited control most courts exercise over the cases they hear. We analyze the influence of ideological and legal factors on the grant of en banc rehearing in the U.S. Courts of Appeals—one of the few instances of agenda control in the lower federal courts. Unlike previous research, we examine multiple decision points in the agenda-setting process. Our results indicate that the influence of attitudinal and legal factors varies across decision points revealing a complexity obscured in previous work. Our research underscores the importance of treating agenda setting as a process rather than as a single decision.

Ancillary