Michael Romano and Todd CurryNov 19, 2019
Creating the Law
State Supreme Court Opinions and The Effect of Audiences
In Creating the Law: State Supreme Court Opinions and The Effect of Audiences (Routledge, 2019), Michael Romano and Todd Curry examine whether judges tailor their language in order to avoid retribution during their retention elections. Using an extensive dataset that includes the text of all death penalty and education decisions issued by state supreme courts from 1995–2010, Romano and Curry examine the connection between retention incentives and legal language choices. In doing so, they find that judges write with their audience in mind, and emphasize dueling strategies of justification and persuasion in order to appeal to diverse audiences that may be paying attention. Michael Romano is an assistant professor of political science at Shenandoah University; Todd Curry is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas, El Paso.