Supreme Court, Distribution of Supreme Court Votes, Outlier Distribution, Unanimous Decisions, Split Decisions, Conservative, Liberal, National Disunity


The estimation of the distribution that matches the voting of the justices of the Supreme Court shows that voting is correlated and reveals three phenomena: an outlier distribution produced by one composition of the Court, the surprising frequency of unanimous decisions, and the intensity with which the Court avoids 4–4 decisions. The intensity with which the Court avoids 4–4 splits and the strength of the drive to produce unanimous decisions seem sensitive to national disunity. At times of greater disunity, 1965 to 1975 and 2001 to 2020, the Court avoids 4–4 splits more intensely and has a greater fraction of its decisions be unanimous.


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