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What's Law Got To Do With It?

March 27-28, 2009
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405

The conference will be held at the Law School, at the corner of Third Street and Indiana Avenue — a short walk southwest from the Indiana Memorial Union (map).

About the Conference

This conference will explore the interplay between law and other influences on judicial decision-making, and the implications of that interplay for judicial selection and public confidence in the courts. The goal is to highlight the recent spate of empirical scholarship that has moved away from dichotomous arguments pitting law against attitude, and toward a more nuanced and eclectic way of looking at what judges do. Examining this debate and the related research will help us to assess questions like: How should judges be selected and regulated? Is the public likely to care about judicial selection and decision-making? What is still missing from our knowledge about the work that judges do?

Papers presented at the conference will be published as an edited volume. We are pleased to announce that the conference is partially funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.

Conference Participants

Sarah Evans Barker
Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
Larry Baum
Professor of Political Science, Dept. of Political Science, Ohio State University
Eileen Braman
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Indiana University
Stephen B. Burbank
David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Keith Bybee
Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics, Maxwell School of Syracuse University
Frank B. Cross*
Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law, McCombs School of Business; Professor of Law, University of Texas Law School; Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin
Barry Friedman
Vice Dean and Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Melinda Gann Hall
Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University
Michael J. Gerhardt
Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law, University of North Carolina Law School
Charles Geyh
John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington
James L. Gibson
Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government, Washington University
Bill Henderson
Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington
Stefanie Lindquist
Thomas W. Gregory Professor of Law, University of Texas Law School
Jody Madeira
Associate Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington
Andrew Martin
Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law, Washington University
Mitchell Pickerill
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Washington State University
David Pozen*
Ted Ruger
Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
James Sample
Associate Counsel, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Jeff Segal
Distinguished University Professor, Dept. of Political Science, SUNY at Stony Brook University
Matt Streb
Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University
Frank Sullivan
Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
Nancy Vaidik
Judge, Indiana Court of Appeals, Fifth District
Jeff Yates
Professor of Political Science, Dept. of Political Science, SUNY Binghamton University

* Submitting papers but not attending.

Conference Schedule

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The schedule presents an outline. Click to see the complete abstracts.

March 27, 2009

Introduction and Welcome


Panel 1: Legal and political science models compared, and what they tell us about what judges do

Listen now (mp3 audio)

  • Charles Geyh
  • Steve Burbank

    On the Study of Judicial Behaviors: Of Law, Politics, Science and Humility

  • Jeff Segal

    What’s Law Got to do with it: Thoughts from "the Realm of Political Science"




Panel 2: How we distinguish law from politics

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  • Bill Henderson
  • Eileen Braman and Mitch Pickerill

    Path Dependence in Studies of Legal Decision Making

  • Frank B. Cross*

    "Law Is Politics"

  • Barry Friedman and Andrew Martin

    Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Some Suggestions for Modeling Legal Decisionmaking




Panel 3: The role of law and politics in judicial decision-making

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  • Jeff Yates
  • Larry Baum

    Law and Policy: More and Less Than a Dichotomy

  • Stefanie Lindquist

    Stare Decisis as Reciprocity Norm

  • Ted Ruger

    The Normative Context of Positive Scholarship About Judging




Judges react

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  • Charles Geyh
  • Sarah Evans Barker
  • Nancy Vaidik
  • Frank Sullivan
March 28, 2009

Panel 4: The law-politics debate and its implications for judicial selection

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  • James Sample
  • Mike Gerhardt

    Constitutional Branding: An Overview

  • Melinda Gann Hall

    On the Cataclysm of Judicial Elections and Other Popular Anti-Democratic Myths

  • David Pozen*

    The Popular Constitutionalists Among Us

  • Matthew Streb

    Are Judicial Elections Like Other Elections?




Panel 5: Law, politics, and public confidence in the courts

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  • Jody Madeira
  • Keith Bybee

    The Rule of Law is Dead! Long Live the Rule of Law!

  • James Gibson

    Judging the Politics of Judging: Are Politicians in Robes Inevitably Illegitimate?


Closing Remarks

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More Information

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