Trying to Get What You Want: Heresthetical Maneuvering and U.S. Supreme Court Decision Making

Ryan C. Black, Rachel A. Schutte, Timothy R Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Riker famously theorized that political actors faced with suboptimal outcomes might be able to garner a more desirable one by adding issues to the agenda. To date, limited support for Riker's theory of heresthetics exists, primarily consisting of case studies and anecdotal evidence. We offer a systematic analysis of heresthetical maneuvers in the context of Supreme Court decision making. We argue justices who oppose a potential case outcome may add alternative issues to the record in an effort to restructure the terms of debate. Data from justices' behavior during oral argument support Riker's theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-830
Number of pages12
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • heresthetics
  • judicial politics
  • oral arguments

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