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Objective

We investigate whether informational cues differentially affect a petition for review at each stage of the U.S. Supreme Court's agenda-setting process. We specifically test how the cost of identifying a cue and the degree of information provided within it affect the cue's impact.

Methods

We use a random sample of archival data obtained from the private papers of Justice Harry A. Blackmun to jointly analyze the Court's discuss list and final outcome decisions.

Results

Confirming our expectations, we find that both positive cues and negative cues play different roles across the two stages of the Court's agenda-setting process.

Conclusions

These findings are noteworthy since they suggest that the impact of some commonly studied case attributes differs between when a case is selected for the initial level of review versus when it is added to the Court's plenary docket.