ERIC Number: ED173778
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Burger Court in Factorial Space.
Schwartz, Thomas A.
The attitudes of Supreme Court justices toward freedom of the press and ways in which their voting patterns affect the press were investigated in a study involving an examination of 235 nonunanimous decisions (G-cases), 199 nonunanimous civil liberties cases (C-cases), and 23 nonunanimous freedom of the press cases (P-cases) decided by the Burger court between the start of the 1969 term and midway through the 1973 term. Units of measurement included the ten justices, the ideological outcomes of the C-cases and G-cases, the press-favorable outcomes of the P-cases, and the votes of the justices. Each justice was compared with every other justice on the number of times they agreed with each other; they were then ranked on the basis of the degree of their correlation with the factor accounting for the most variance. Results showed that in each of the samples, the justices tended to vote in blocs. The blocs in G- and C-cases seemed to represent liberalism, conservatism, independence, and neutralism. The P-case blocs seemed to represent favorable views, unfavorable views, absolutism, and independence. Since the findings indicate that justices do vote in blocs in First Amendment cases, mass communication law researchers can now have more confidence in describing the attributes of the blocs and in explaining First Amendment freedoms. (FL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (61st, Seattle, Washington, August 13-16, 1978)