1303. sredin seminar: Patrick Doreian: Networks of the US Supreme Court and Fundamental Network Structures
Patrick Doreian: Networks of the US Supreme Court and Fundamental Network Structures
The US Supreme Court is one of the three branches of government in the United States. Its decisions can be far reaching in their impacts of life in the US both at the governmental level and on the lives of those living in the US. It can overrule decisions made by Congress as well as decisions made by lower courts and its own prior decisions. There have been extensive studies of the networks formed among politicians in the US Congress in formulating laws. There appears to have been less attention focused on the networks formed within the US Supreme Court. These networks are the focus of this presentation. They include the two-mode network, for each term, of justices ‘voting’ to either support decisions or dissent from them. From this two-mode network, it is straightforward to construct projections from it. The most useful is the projection for justices that reveals the net extent to which justices agree or disagree in a term. This is valued signed network. Partitioning this signed network reveals the fundamental structure of this court. More importantly, this suggests a way to delineate the fundamental structure of signed networks, a far more general problem. Justices can sign opinions written by other justices in support of a decision. This creates an ‘agree signing’ network that will be studied. Similarly, the same holds for the signing opinions sign by justice who are dissenting from a decision. These networks have intriguing structures that will be analyzed.