ERIC Number: ED229753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Personnel Change on Supreme Court Use of Precedent in Freedom of Expression Cases.
Schwartz, Thomas A.; Warrick, Kathleen
To test the findings of a 1981 study, which concluded that the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Warren Burger has attempted to reverse the liberal policies of the court presided over by Earl Warren by adopting a policy of ignoring precedent, a second study duplicated the earlier study's general research design, except that it focused on freedom of expression cases rather than on economic and civil liberties cases. Findings of the second study contradicted the findings of the earlier study in each of five major areas. The latter study found (1) no difference between the two courts in the ways they cited the Warren Court in freedom of expression cases; (2) no difference in the way the two courts cited the Warren Court when favorableness of freedom of expression was controlled for; (3) the Burger Court cited the Warren Court in raw numbers in free expression cases almost three times as much as the Warren Court cited itself; (4) the Burger Court cited the Warren Court about twice as often as the Warren Court cited itself in substantive citations to freedom of expression cases; and (5) the Burger court cited the Warren Court about three and a half times more often than the Warren Court cited itself when the outcomes were favorable to freedom of expression and about the same when the outcome was unfavorable. Differences in the results of the two studies may be attributable to improvement in methodology, the nature of freedom of expression cases, or the attitudes of the two courts. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Burger Court; Legal Precedents; Legal Research; Supreme Court; Warren Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).