"New style" campaigning, citizen knowledge, and sources of legitimacy for State Courts: A case study in Texas

Mark Jonathan McKenzie, Michael A. Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we explore whether perceptions of the Texas Supreme Court's legitimacy are influenced by "new style" judicial campaigns and levels of political sophistication. Using a statewide survey of Texas registered voters, we find that knowledge about the Texas judiciary and politics more generally is associated with higher levels of support for the state's supreme court. However, an embedded experiment manipulating a judicial candidate's party and issue positions does not alter individuals' perceptions of the Texas court. These results suggest that concerns over the effect of increasingly politicized judicial elections on judicial legitimacy, at least in Texas, may be exaggerated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-834
Number of pages22
JournalPolitics and Policy
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Court legitimacy
  • Judicial campaigns
  • Judicial politics
  • Law
  • New style
  • Political institutions
  • Political sophistication
  • Republican Party of Minnesota v. White
  • State Supreme Courts
  • The Courts

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