The unanimous decision making process is an intriguing phenomenon. However, the process of justices with different backgrounds, attitudes, and perceptions uniting on a decision raises many difficult questions for judicial scholars. Despite these challenges, the limited amount of knowledge in the area of unanimous decision making is troubling because such decisions constitute a sizable portion of judicial decisions. For example, nearly one-half of the Court's decisions were unanimous during the 1996-1997 term. Given the Court's penchant for unanimity, it is obvious that research into this area can contribute substantially toward explaining the behavior of the Justices on the Court. Thus, the central question of this article is: What characterizes the unanimous decision making process of the United States Supreme Court? By examining all formally decided cases from the first five terms of the Rehnquist Court (1986-1990), this study aims to provide new insights regarding the determinants of unanimity.
Hensley, Thomas R. and Johnson, Scott P.
"Unanimity on the Rehnquist Court,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 31
, Article 2.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol31/iss3/2