In an Essay forthcoming in the University of Illinois Law Review (2011:5), Measuring Maximizing Judges: Empirical Legal Studies, Public Choice Theory, and Judicial Behavior, Joanna Shepherd (Emory) surveys and summarizes the existing empirical literature assessing a public choice model of judicial decisionmaking. An excerpted abstract follows.
"Although legal scholars have traditionally been reluctant to engage in a critical inquiry into the role of judicial self-interest on judicial behavior, recent empirical studies confirm many of the predictions of the model. As a result, the public choice model has gained broad acceptance across a range of disciplines, courts, and even the U.S. public."