26 U. Tol. L. Rev. 1 (1994-1995)
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Preliminary Assessment

handle is hein.journals/utol26 and id is 11 raw text is: ARTICLES
Joyce Ann Baugh,* Christopher E. Smith, Thomas R. Hensley*
and Scott Patrick Johnson*...
T HE appointment of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court is always an
important occasion.       As the literal and symbolic pinnacle of the American
judicial system, the Supreme Court exerts its influence over numerous important
legal and policy issues.' As one of nine decision-makers within the Court, any
individual justice, including a new justice, can potentially influence the Court's
decision-making, especially if the Court is deeply divided on an issue. During his
first term, for example, Justice David Souter cast the decisive fifth vote in seven
five-to-four criminal justice decisions favoring the government that undoubtedly
would have favored individuals' rights if his predecessor, liberal Justice William
Brennan, had remained on the Court Thus, the appointment of Justice Ruth
* Associate Professor of Political Science, Central Michigan University. B.A. 1981, Clemson
University; M.A. 1983, Ph.D. 1989, Kent State University.
** Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University. A.B. 1980, Harvard
University; M.Sc. 1981, University of Bristol (England); J.D. 1984, University of Tennessee; Ph.D.
1988, University of Connecticut.
*** Professor of Political Science, Kent State University. B.A. 1965, Simpson College; M.A.
1967; Ph.D. 1970, University of Iowa.
**** Doctoral Student in Political Science, Kent State University. B.A. 1987, Youngstown State
University; M.A. 1990, University of Akron.
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions to this paper made by data drawn from the U.S.
Supreme Judicial Database, Harold J. Spaeth, principal investigator (ICPSR study number 9422).
We also wish to thank Scott Riccio, a graduate student at Kent State University, for his assistance
in gathering data on the 1993-94 term of the Supreme Court.
1. See Marcia Coyle, In Search of an Identity, NAT'L L.J., Aug. 15, 1994, at Cl. Most
recently, President Bill Clinton has appointed Stephen Breyer to succeed Justice Harry Blackmun
on the High Court. DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Oct. 3, 1994, at Al. The appointment was confirmed
by Congress. Id. See David Margolick, Man in the News, N.Y. TIMES, May 14, 1994, at Al.
2. See, e.g., HARRY P. STUMPF, AMERICAN JUDICIAL POLITICS 388 (1988) (Functioning less
as a court in the generic sense and more as a continuous constitutional convention or council of
elders, our Supreme Court has become the arena for debate and at least tentative resolution of many
of the great issues in American history and politics.).
3. Scott P. Johnson & Christopher E. Smith, David Souter's First Term on the Supreme
Court: The Impact of a New Justice, 75 JUDICATURE 238, 239 (1992).

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