Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

The Conscientious Justice: How Supreme Court Justices’ Personalities Influence the Law, the High Court, and the Constitution, Ryan Black, Ryan J. Owens, Justin Wedeking and Patrick C. Wohlfarth

Reviewed by Christopher M. Parker

BUY

 

Legal realists argue that considerations such as ideology and external politics influence U.S. Supreme Court justices, though the degree to which these extralegal elements play a role in decision-making is sure to vary by justice. This motivates Ryan Black, Ryan J. Owens, Justin Wedeking, and Patrick C. Wohlfarth to examine an underexplored variable: personality. The authors build on legal realism research by arguing that a justice’s personality can help identify the justices for whom ideological and reputational considerations will carry the greatest weight. They focus on conscientiousness, as conscientious people are attentive, hardworking, and deliberate in their actions—traits commonly associated with good judges. As such, the authors theorize that conscientious justices should be more diligent in trying to fulfill their obligation to settle important legal disputes, even at the expense of their personal policy goals.

In The Conscientious Justice, the authors use text analysis software on preconfirmation speeches, articles, and separate opinions to develop a standardized measure of conscientiousness for 38 justices, from Justice Hugo Black to Justice Elena Kagan. The explanation of their process and rigorous validity checks provide convi

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

WEBINAR
For the People Act (HR.1/S.1) Unpacked

July 22, 2021

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

Immigration Policy

The Costs and Benefits of Immigration
Darrell M. West

Economic Insecurity, Prejudicial Stereotypes, and Public Opinion on Immigration Policy
Peter Burns and James G. Gimpel

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Presidential Selection and Democracy   PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS