Cameron is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and Visiting Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Park is Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.
How Will They Vote? Predicting the Future Behavior of Supreme Court Nominees, 1937–2006
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009, Cornell Law School and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 485–511, September 2009
How to Cite
Cameron, C. M. and Park, J.-K. (2009), How Will They Vote? Predicting the Future Behavior of Supreme Court Nominees, 1937–2006. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 6: 485–511. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2009.01151.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Previous research suggests that the future behavior of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court is relatively unpredictable, except for civil liberties cases. We devise a new measure of nominees' political ideology that more efficiently uses preconfirmation information about the nominees. The measure employs Segal-Cover scores (based on content analysis of contemporary newspaper editorials) as well as DW-NOMINATE indicators, and is scaled into the DW-NOMINATE space. The measure predicts confirmed nominees' overall immediate, short-term, and longer-term voting behavior, as well as voting in issue-specific domains, much better than do previous measures. It is particularly successful for nominees confirmed after 1957.