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A Mere MachineThe Supreme Court, Congress, and American Democracy$
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Anna Harvey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300171112

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300171112.001.0001

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Restoring The Court's Missing Docket

Restoring The Court's Missing Docket

(p.223) 7 Restoring The Court's Missing Docket
A Mere Machine

Anna Harvey

Yale University Press

Chapter 4 showed that many observers found the pre-1994 Rehnquist Court to be considerably more moderate than they had expected it to be, even as increasingly conservative justices replaced moderate and liberal justices. It is now known that these observers were correct: at least in cases involving the constitutional review of federal statutes, the first Rehnquist Court was significantly more liberal than it would have been, had only the justices' preferences determined its judgments. This chapter looks at another observation: that the first Rehnquist Court appeared to be taking in fewer cases involving important public policy issues towards the end of the period. This “shrinking docket” attracted the attention of legal scholars and needs some careful analysis.

Keywords:   pre-1994 Rehnquist Court, conservative justices, liberal justices, public policy issues, legal scholars, shrinking docket

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