In this article, we set ourselves to the task of identifying the determinants of separate opinion writing on the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Utilizing a new institutional theoretical framework, we evaluate a series of hypotheses concerning the connection between separate opinion writing behavior and attitudinal, institutional, and legal factors. Within this broad theoretical framework, we are particularly sensitive to the manner in which judges may advance certain goals through authorship of separate opinions. We find that judges' policy preferences, case salience, and collegiality norms all affect the likelihood that a judge will write a separate opinion. Our research provides additional support for integrated models of judicial decision-making that take into account institutional, attitudinal, and legal influences on judicial behavior.
- Courts of Appeals
- Judicial decision making
- Opinion writing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science