For your research paper, you will develop and test a theory of judicial decision making, using a single Supreme Court justice as a case study. Specifically, you will critically evaluate the justice that you selected for your biography paper and their voting behavior. You are free to develop and test any hypothesis in relation to judicial decision making. For example, you might ask: Is Justice X influenced by his or her ideology in Y cases? Is Justice X influenced by their background Z in Y cases? These questions are meant to be suggestive and are by no means exhaustive. You will be expected to integrate and connect the course readings throughout.
Your paper will be structured similarly to the journal articles we will read this semester and must be 10-12 pages in length (not including title page, references, tables or figures), include a title page, 12 point Times New Roman font, standard margins (1” top-bottom, 1” left-right), double spaced, all figures and tables moved to the end of the paper after the references, include page numbers and must cite all references in CMS format. Failure to properly cite material will be deemed to be plagiarism and you will receive a zero for the assignment. Please see the following
resource for any questions about CMS format:
Also see the following resource for differences between MLA, APA, and CMS:
Papers that do not meet all of the formatting requirements will not be accepted. Papers are due at the beginning of class (within 5 minutes of class starting). Late papers will not be accepted unless accompanied with a documented medical excuse, which the instructor reserves the right to accept or not. Papers that do not meet all of the formatting requirements will not be accepted.
It will consist of the following parts:
- a) Introduction: This should be 1 page or three paragraphs long. It should be no longer than six paragraphs, and always less than 3 pages. You should have no or few citations. Your first paragraph states the puzzle/dilemma to be solved or question to be answered. You may use a famous quote to begin with. Second paragraph summarizes the two sides in the literature about this puzzle/dilemma/question. Third paragraph summarizes your answer and gives a one sentence “map” of what you are doing in this paper.
- b) Literature Review and Road Map: In two pages or less you cite evidence for the puzzle or question you address. This usually involves citations from the literature, but it may involve actually building the case (in which case, give yourself 3 pages for this section). Then outline the major analogies used to address the puzzle/question, with group citations, led by the major works. This is where you make the case for your paper being an important part of the debate in the literature. There are two sides in every debate. Discuss the literature this way, divide it in two sides. You are adding to one side. Lastly, give a brief road map of what is to follow in your paper (1 paragraph as a transition).
- c) Theory:
- Your argument/explanation: State your argument/explanation, beginning with your conclusion, going through your premises and ending with a QED (although perhaps not literally). Make it as simple as possible and use as little jargon as possible. You want people to read it and get it. Use figures, models, analogies here. Indeed, the core point here is for people to understand, appreciate and believe your core analogy about how the world works. That is what we are really arguing about in science.
- Your hypotheses/predictions. Next derive your hypotheses from your theory above. These derivations must be deductively valid or there can be no testing of your theory.
- d) Data:
i. Your constructs and construct validity: Next you define how you are going to
measure some of the relationships in your theory/analogy/model. You must prove, or make very plausible, that you have very good constructs for the variables and parameters in your theory/model/analogy. This always requires the use of more analogies, to relate abstract theoretical constructs to real world observable constructs. Be explicit, be precise, and provide proof that your observable constructs can be derived from the abstract constructs in your theory.
- Your test/correlation/exploration: Explain what you are doing here. Tell the reader what is to follow. If you are conducting a correlation, show how your data analysis will demonstrate that if your theory is true, then this relationship must also be true, thus you have a partial test, using comparative statics, what we call a refutational challenge: that is, if you find the relationship doesn’t hold, we can reject the theory, but if we do find that it holds we can not accept the theory’s hypotheses, as it wasn’t a test. Often case studies are refutational challenges, they are almost never tests.
- Describe your data. Define your variables and describe where they are from. Be explicit, so that anyone could go back and redo your work. If you dropped cases, explain why. If you were limited in your data collection, or the data is truncated, or whatever, explain it.
- Discuss any potential methodological concerns and how you resolved them or what to make of them if you did not resolve them.
i. Give your results, interpreting them in light of your theory/hypotheses.
Remember, you are testing your analogy, in fact you are testing a string of analogies, and you need not worry, at this point, about external validity.
f) Conclusion. Here is where you worry about external validity, here is where you step back and LIMIT your findings. You may anticipate criticisms here and provide counter-arguments/evidence. Always conclude with a summary paragraph extolling what you did find, however. Remember, external validity relates to your theory not your findings.
Required Texts: Carp, Robert A., Ronald Stidham, Kenneth L. Manning, and Lisa M. Holmes. 2017. Judicial Process in America, 10th Edition. Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. In addition to the text, there will be cases and other supplementary material posted on Blackboard that is required reading.
Attached is syllabus, supreme court databases codebook, examples for the typothesis
for some reasons I could not upload the justice file for R so I would need your email to send you the file or I can give you my username and password for blackboard
please connect the reading as much as you can. if you need anything please let me know