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Last time, we began our analysis by addressing the competing theories of judicial behavior.  Formalism, the oldest theory, teaches that judicial decision making can be explained and predicted based upon the facts, the applicable law and precedent and judicial deliberations – and nothing more.  But if formalism explains all of judicial decision making, then many of the factors studied by empirical analysts, such as the judges’ individual ideologies and voting records, the lower courts involved and the nature of the parties to the litigation, should have little ability to forecast voting and outcomes.  But many studies have shown that such… Continue Reading Competing Theories of Judicial Decision Making: Attitudinalism and Legal Realism