Yesterday I came across an interesting article about the Supreme Court's certiorari decision in conflict cases written by Professor Emily Grant of the Washburn University School of Law in collaboration with two professors of political science--Scott A. Hendrickson of Creighton University and Michael S. Lynch of Kansas University. Their article is entitled "The Ideological Divide: Conflict and the Supreme Court’s Certiorari Decision." Here is their abstract:
This Article bridges a gap in existing literature by evaluating, from an empirical perspective, the impact of conflict among the lower courts on the Supreme Court’s decision to grant or deny a petition for a writ of certiorari. Specifically, this Article looks at the political ideology of the lower courts involved in a split of authority on federal law and compares those positions to the political ideology of the Supreme Court itself. This Article concludes that the ideological content of lower court opinions in a conflict case impacts the Supreme Court’s certiorari decisions in a statistically significant way, and thus sheds new light on the role lower court conflict plays in whether the Supreme Court’s exercise of its discretion to grant cert.
The article will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Cleveland State Law Review. I have not yet had a chance to read it, so please share your thoughts in the comment box below. You can download the article for free on SSRN here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2138211.