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Lee Epstein
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Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
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STATES AND THE SUPREME COURT: AN EXAMINATION OF LITIGATION OUTCOMES
Published in 1988. Social Science Quarterly 68 (3): 660-674. (Revised version of a paper delivered at the 1985 meeting of the Southern Political Science Association.)

Lee Epstein
Karen O'Connor

Abstract

Although many scholars have examined the role state governments play in Supreme Court litigation, few have explored factors affecting the outcomes of their cases.  Hence, this study sought to discover if variation in state success could be systematically explained.  With the use of cases involving issues of criminal justice deciding during the Burger Court era, the importance of two sets of factors, state traits and governmental litigation apparatus was examined.  After controls for the appealing party have been introduced a model encompassing both sets of factors provides a useful tool for explaining the success of southern states.  Given their inherent advantages, however, the success of southern states is best explained by only on set of factors; state traits.

Click here for the article (.pdf).
Click here for the conference paper (.pdf)