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Political Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 22–36 | Cite as

Presidents, Supreme Court justices, and racial equality cases: 1954–1984

  • John B. Gates
  • Jeffrey E. Cohen
Article

Abstract

This research assesses the policy success of presidents since Eisenhower in their appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court in racial equality cases from 1954–1984. The research examines presidential preferences in a much more detailed and sensitive manner than previous research. While past research has used presidential party as a measure of the policy preferences of presidents, we examine policy preferences in a very direct manner. Specifically, the preferences of presidents on racial equality issues are gauged by their public policy statements. These statements serve to tap the degree of liberalness, the level of attention, and the level of concern with judicial actions in racial equality matters. The results demonstrate that presidents have been much more successful in appointing like-minded justices than is suggested by the existing literature. In addition, it is shown that prior judicial experience is not related to presidential success. This is discussed in terms of the perennial debate over the political control of the Supreme Court and the congruence of Court policy making with majoritarian values.

Keywords

Public Policy Policy Statement Past Research Policy Preference Policy Success 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Gates
    • 1
  • Jeffrey E. Cohen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavis
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Illinois-UrbanaUSA

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