Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1990


In this article we follow the recent developments of the modern theory of administrative agencies, by developing a rational choice theory of the Supreme Court. Our framework combines two of the main characteristics of this literature: namely, the rational choice modeling strategy with the notion that institutions matter in the design of public policy. We differ basically by modeling the Supreme Court as a self-interested, ideologically motivated institution, making its decisions subject not to the traditional legal rules of precedent, but to the constraints arising from the political interests of other institutions of government-namely, Congress and the President.



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