International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
Judicial Decision-Making In Inmate Litigation: Influence And Effectiveness Of Interest Groups As Amici Curiae


It is commonly suggested that amicus curiae briefs (ACBs) are useful to influence judicial decisions.  Interest groups often use ACBs to participate in litigation.  Unfortunately, most assessments of judicial decision-making fail to review the latent content of ACBs.  This is problematic because there is no way to be certain that interest groups truly influence case outcomes.  Furthermore, it is possible that the type of litigation affects judicial outcomes as well.  The current analysis employs a mixed methods approach to assess judicial decision-making.  The current study is unique as it is perhaps the first to measure both influence and effectiveness separately in a qualitative manner.  In doing so, the study makes comparisons between the latent content of judicial opinions and ACBs.  The results support prior research findings regarding the influential nature of ACBs towards judicial decisions.  Despite evidence of influence, interest groups’ advocacy only results in favorable case outcomes in a minority of cases.  Suggestions for future research are also provided.