Date of Award
Master of Arts
Kimberly Horn Conger
This thesis attempts to answer what causes dissent in state supreme courts. It also approaches the normative questions of whether dissent in state supreme courts is good or bad for democracy. Within I review relevant literature on state supreme courts, judicial voting behavior and dissent. I also conduct my own study of state supreme courts. I find that limited resources affect nonconsensual opinion writing on state supreme courts. I do this by creating an OLS regression model showing that the employment of law clerks causes more nonconsensual opinions and a larger caseload causes less nonconsensual opinion writing. I also find that more dissent is consistent with the democratic tradition, as it enables more voices to be heard.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Andrew John Fay
Fay, Andrew John, "States of agreement: a new look at law clerks and consensual norms in state supreme courts " (2006). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 890.