Reconsidering the Impact of Jurisprudential Regimes


  • *Direct correspondence to Kevin Scott, Department of Political Science, Texas Tech University, MS 1015, Lubbock, TX 79409-1015 〈〉. Data and coding information available on request from the author. The author thanks Bert Kritzer, Mark Richards, and Jeff Segal for generously sharing their data and Larry Baum, Scott Meinke, and Margie Williams for their insightful comments.


Objectives. Recent work on Supreme Court decision making has argued that different areas of law demonstrate the creation of jurisprudential regimes, which alter the importance of different case facts to the justices, suggesting that the justices do alter their behavior in response to changes in the law. However, the work on jurisprudential regimes has suggested that all justices, or at least all justices who participate in establishing the regime, react similarly to the regime creation.

Methods. I separate out the justices who support the establishment of the regime and those who oppose the establishment of the regime to test the hypothesis that majority and dissenting justices react differently to the creation of jurisprudential regimes.

Results. Both sets of justices react to the establishment of the regime, but the change in behavior of the dissenters occurs after that of the majority.

Conclusions. These results suggest that the impact of jurisprudential regimes may be even more substantial than previously believed.