I would like to thank Gordon Hanson, Chris Woodruff, Jeffrey Weldon, Christopher Reenok, Steve Wuhs, Kathleen Bruhn, John Carey, Randall Calvert, Lee Epstein, and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Constitutional Review and the Selective Promotion of Case Results
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 98–112, January 2006
How to Cite
Staton, J. K. (2006), Constitutional Review and the Selective Promotion of Case Results. American Journal of Political Science, 50: 98–112. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2006.00172.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2005
A significant majority of the world's constitutional courts publicize their decisions through direct contact with the national media. This interest in public information is puzzling in so far as constitutional judges are not directly accountable to voters. I argue that the promotion of case results is consistent with a theory of judicial behavior in which public support for courts can undermine incentives for insincere decision making. In this article, I develop a simple game theory model that identifies how case promotion is linked to judicial choice. Results of a simultaneous equations model estimating the Mexican Supreme Court's merits decisions and its choices to publicize those decisions by issuing press releases to national media outlets support an account of constitutional review in which judges believe they can influence their authority through case promotion.