This Article questions whether consistency in legal interpretation is truly a manifestation of the influence of law or instead a means to a preferred policy end. Part I of this Article discusses the legal interpretive tools of originalism and legislative history and how they might influence outcomes in cases. Part II discusses judicial decision-making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and justifies their use in the analysis. Parts III and IV offer information on our data and methodology, as well as a discussion of the results. Finally, in Part V, we find that the use of legal interpretive strategies are indeed, at least in part, ideologically-driven, though not in a straightforward way. We conclude that arguments suggesting that legal interpretation is determinative and hence alleviates room for attitudinally-motivated outcomes are over stated.
Jason J. Czarnezki & Sara C. Benesh, The Ideology of Legal Interpretation, 29 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 113 (2009), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/912/.