Television and Judicial Behavior: Lessons from the Brazilian Supreme Court
Felipe Lopes (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV)

Abstract : While much research has gone into determining the broader effects of judicial transparency, the literature is silent in investigating its effects on judicial behavior. This article explores a unique aspect of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF); that its deliberations have been broadcast live on television since 2002, to investigate the behavioral effects of an increase in judicial transparency. I construct a novel database consisting of abstract constitutional review cases judged by the STF between 1988 and 2015 and employ a research design seldom used in the judicial behavior literature – Differences-in-Differences – to test empirically the effects of television on judicial behavior. The main result is that STF justices behave as politicians: when given free television time, they act to maximize their individual exposure. They achieve that by writing longer votes and by engaging in more discussions with their peers.

The Collegiality of Dissent
Jonathan R. Nash (Emory University)

Abstract : The dominant view in the political science, economics, and legal literature is that ideology drives judicial decision-making. Yet another school of thought argues that this scholarship ignores the important role that judicial collegiality plays in judicial decision-making. The divide over collegiality extends to debate over which courts (or types of courts) are likely to be more collegial. Some argue that features of the Supreme Court make it more likely to function collegially than the courts of appeals. Others argue that features of the courts of appeals make those courts more likely to function collegially than the Supreme Court. A third area of contestation over collegiality is how exactly to measure collegiality. Some emphasize unanimity as the key manifestation of collegiality. However, judges may vote against their ideological preferences—and, specifically, choose to form majority blocs or to issue unanimous opinions—for reasons other than collegiality. Other commentators offer competing measures, but also lament that the concept of collegiality is “difficult to measure or model.” This Paper accepts the challenges of measuring the concept of collegiality. Returning to the emphasis of some commentators on “respect,” the measure asks whether dissenting judges treat the judges in the majority (and their opinions) with respect. The Paper uses this measure of collegiality to begin to shed light on the “comparative collegiality” of courts.