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A Compliant Court: The Political Effects of the Addition of Judgeships to the United States Supreme Court Following Electoral Realignments
Judson, Lauren Joyce
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During periods of turmoil when ideological preferences between the federal branches of government fail to align, the relationship between the three quickly turns tumultuous. Electoral realignments especially have the potential to increase tension between the branches. When a new party replaces the 'old order' in both the legislature and the executive branches, the possibility for conflict emerges with the Court. Justices who make decisions based on old regime preferences of the party that had appointed them to the bench will likely clash with the new ideological preferences of the incoming party. In these circumstances, the president or Congress may seek to weaken the influence of the Court through court-curbing methods. One example Congress may utilize is changing the actual size of the Supreme The size of the Supreme Court has increased four times in United States history, and three out of the four alterations happened after an electoral realignment. Through analysis of Supreme Court cases, this thesis seeks to determine if, after an electoral realignment, holdings of the Court on issues of policy were more congruent with the new party in power after the change in composition as well to examine any change in individual vote tallies of the justices driven by the voting behavior of the newly appointed justice(s).
- Masters Theses