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26 July 2006


Tracy Lightcap

Sorry, haven't got time to read the papers.

From the abstract: two comments.

1. Did you disaggregate the issues when you looked at dissensus? Some issues on appeal don't activate the kinds of issues that ideological models look at. (Ah, there's a story. I have a theory about this. If you want the paper e-mail me.) It might repay a more detailed look.

2. The first thing that came to mind when I looked at the abstract is that you weren't tapping the prior career of the judges. If you look at Tate's work way back when, you'll find that one factor that can make a difference is, for example, whether a judge was a prosecutor or not. "Ah," I hear you say, "We've covered that with ideological preferences!" If we were looking at the Nine, I'd agree. When you look at CoA's, however, you have to take that old saw local legal culture into consideration. I'm betting that there is less ideological variation among CoA judges. That's when career differences could be worth looking into.

Well, just some thoughts.

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