Analysis of concurring opinion writing by Supreme Court justices.
When justices write or join a concurring opinion, they demonstrate their preferences over substantive legal rules. Concurrences provide a way for justices to express their views about the law, to engage in a dialogue of law with each other, the legal community, the public, and Congress. This important study is the first systematic examination of the content of Supreme Court concurrences. While previous work on Supreme Court decision making focuses solely on the outcome of cases, Pamela C. Corley tackles the content of Supreme Court concurring opinions to show the reasoning behind each justice’s decision. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, Concurring Opinion Writing on the U.S. Supreme Court offers a rich and detailed portrait of judicial decision making by studying the process of opinion writing and the formation of legal doctrine through the unique lens of concurrences.
Pamela C. Corley is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.