Chief Judges: The Limits of Attitudinal Theory and Possible Paradox of Managerial Judging
George, Tracey E., 1967-
"Grutter v. Bollinger" is familiar to American lawyers, academics, and law students as the Supreme Court decision allowing the consideration of race in law school admissions.... Accusations like those made in "Grutter" are consistent with the attitudinal theory of judicial decision making. Attitudinal theory proffers that judges are political actors who make decisions that will maximize their policy preferences. Developed primarily by political scientists, this approach has gained increasing currency in legal scholarship. If the theory is an accurate account of any judicial action on the courts of appeals, we would expect, at a minimum, to see evidence in the behavior of chief judges, who have more opportunities than other circuit judges to achieve policy goals. Chief judges may behave attitudinally in exercising their formal powers as well as their informal authority and influence.