I teach a seminar on judicial decision-making that focuses on the courts as political institutions, emphasizing the social science literature on the courts. An issue often batted around by those who teach these judicial behavior courses is what major books should be assigned. I think two are a must read:
(1) The Supreme Court and the Attitudinal Model Revisited by Segal & Spaeth
(2) The Choices Justices Make by Epstein & Knight
I also like to assign Rosenberg's The Hollow Hope.
The real difficulty in teaching a judicial behavior course is helping students understand empirical methodologies. Thus, I asked the following question to a number of colleagues: Can anyone recommend an introductory text for students who are trying to better understand the basic statistics and regression analyses used in the many empirical papers on judicial decision-making? It seems there are few options. I received the following suggestions:
- Marija Norusis' SPSS Guide to Data Analysis
- Andy Field’s Discovering Statistics
- Paul Allison's Multiple Regression : A Primer
I have not used any of these, and instead have explained basic statistical analyses using particularly accessible and easy to understand articles. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Comments are open.