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dc.contributor.advisorLevinson, Sanford, 1941-en
dc.creatorLaw, Anna On Yaen
dc.date.accessioned2011-07-08T21:03:22Zen
dc.date.available2011-07-08T21:03:22Zen
dc.date.issued2003-05en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/12189en
dc.descriptiontexten
dc.description.abstractThe dissertation is a study of the effect of institutional norms on the judicial behavior of Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals judges in immigration cases. Studies of judicial behavior generally focus on individual characteristics of the judges, their religion and ideology, for instance. The point of departure of this research approach is that it differentiates between the distinct institutional norms that govern specific levels of the judiciary. I conceptualize institutional norms as both abstract cognitive structures and intuitional rules and arrangements. I argue that while all levels of the judiciary are bound by the same set of cognitive structures, structural rules and operations are specific to each level of the judiciary. While cognitive structures dictate the range of possible and viable legal reasoning, rules and arrangements specific to each court influence judges to favor particular modes of legal reasoning. The primary data of the study consists of 1,727 legal opinions on immigration from the US Supreme Court and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals from two time periods, 1883-1893 and 1990-2000. These opinions were content analyzed to identify patterns of legal reasoning. The findings from this original data set show that while notions of national sovereignty and congressional plenary power preoccupies the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts of Appeals are preoccupied with issues of procedural due process. The central research question in the project is, “Given that both level of the courts are working with the same set of laws, why do the two levels of the judiciary chose to emphasize different modes of legal reasoning?” This project demonstrates the processes and mechanisms by which institutional settings affect the way judges perceive their duties and roles and in turn, the kinds of legal reasoning they prefer. A key assumption is that intuitional norms better explain judicial behavior than behaviorialist or doctrinal approaches. The findings have several important theoretical implications for the study of immigration law, the courts, and institutional development. These include a call for the reevaluation of the factors that influence judicial decision-making, especially the manner in which decision-making is tied to institutional contexts.
dc.format.mediumelectronicen
dc.language.isoengen
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subjectEmigration and immigration law--United Statesen
dc.subjectJudicial process--United Statesen
dc.subjectUnited States. Supreme Court--Decision makingen
dc.subjectUnited States. Court of Appeals (Federal Circuit)--Decision makingen
dc.titleWho's minding the gates? the effects of institutional norms on judicial behavior in immigrationen
dc.description.departmentGovernmenten
thesis.degree.departmentGovernmenten
thesis.degree.disciplineGovernmenten
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austinen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.rights.restrictionRestricteden


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