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Signaling and Counter-Signaling in the Judicial Hierarchy: An Empirical Analysis of En Banc Review

Beim, Deborah and Hirsch, Alexander V. and Kastellec, Jonathan P. (2016) Signaling and Counter-Signaling in the Judicial Hierarchy: An Empirical Analysis of En Banc Review. American Journal of Political Science, 60 (2). pp. 490-508. ISSN 0092-5853. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160512-104652785

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Abstract

We leverage the institutional features of American courts to evaluate the importance of whistleblowers in hierarchical oversight. Drawing on a formal theory of signaling in the judicial hierarchy, we examine the role of whistleblowing dissents in triggering en banc review of three-judge panels by full circuits of the Courts of Appeals. The theory generates predictions about how dissent interacts with judicial preferences to influence circuits' review and reversal decisions, which we test using original and existing data. First, we show that judges who dissent counter to their preferences are more likely to see their dissents lead to review and reversal. Second, we show that dissents are most influential when the likelihood of non-compliance by a three-judge panel is highest. Our results underscore the importance of dissent in the judicial hierarchy and illustrate how judicial whistleblowers can help appellate courts target the most important cases for review.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12193DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12193/abstractPublisherArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12193/suppinfoPublisherSupporting Information
http://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/29495DOIData and replication code
Additional Information:© 2015 Midwest Political Science Association. Article first published online: 6 JUL 2015. We thank Tom Clark and Stefanie Lindquist for generously sharing data with us. We thank Alex Acs, Chuck Cameron, Tom Clark, Paul Collins, Greg Huber, Lewis Kornhauser, Chris Zorn, and seminar participants at Yale, Penn State, Washington University, and Ohio State University for helpful comments and suggestions. Data and replication code for this article can be found at the AJPS Data Archive on Dataverse, at doi:10.7910/DVN/29495.
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160512-104652785
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160512-104652785
Official Citation:Beim, D., Hirsch, A. V. and Kastellec, J. P. (2016), Signaling and Counter-Signaling in the Judicial Hierarchy: An Empirical Analysis of En Banc Review. American Journal of Political Science, 60: 490–508. doi: 10.1111/ajps.12193
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67048
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 May 2016 21:19
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:02

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