The role and impact of chief judges on the united states courts of appeals

Virginia A. Hettinger, Stefanie A. Lindquist, Wendy L. Martinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We describe the role of the chief judge on the United States Courts of Appeals, provide a profile of past chief judges, and assess their influence on decision making by appellate panels. In particular, we analyze the chief judge’s influence on consensus within individual panels and between the appellate panel and the district court below. We model the likelihood of dissenting opinions from panel decisions and the likelihood of lower-court reversal and find little evidence that the chief judge is able to promote consensus in either case, although individual chief judges are less likely to dissent from panel decisions themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-117
Number of pages27
JournalJustice System Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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