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When Judges Go Public: The Selective Promotion of Case Results on the Mexican Supreme Court

  • Author(s): Staton, Jeffrey K.
  • et al.
Abstract

Recent theory in judicial politics suggests that a normative public commitment to a state’s high court can undermine political constraints on judging induced by the separation-of-powers system. If public support affects judicial authority in this way, judges ought to care about influencing the information to which citizens have access, especially when they substitute their preferences for those of elected officials by invalidating public policies. This study attempts to simultaneously explain the Mexican Supreme Court’s merits decisions in constitutional cases and its choices to issue press releases summarizing those decisions for members of the national media. Using original data on the Supreme Court’s constitutional resolutions, I find that the Court was significantly more likely to publicize decisions striking down public policies than those upholding them. I also find that that the Court was most likely to publicize resolutions striking down important federal policies, the policies the Court was least likely to invalidate.

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