The influence of law in the supreme court's search-and-seizure jurisprudence

Herbert M. Kritzer, Mark J. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this research note/replication, we apply the construct of jurisprudential regimes as described in our recent article to the jurisprudential area of search and seizure. Given the centrality of this area of Supreme Court decision making in the core studies supporting the attitudinal model, replicating our analysis of the jurisprudential regime construct in this area provides an important test of the concept. Our results produce strong support for the proposition that post-Mapp decision making can be separated into distinct regimes, with a set of important cases decided in 1983-1984 demarcating the regimes. The predictors of decisions in the two periods are consistent with the types of changes one would expect the regime shift to produce. Our findings challenge the attitudinalists' proposition that there is at best negligible statistical evidence that law influences Supreme Court decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-55
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Judicial behavior
  • Jurisprudential regime
  • Search and seizure
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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