Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Susan Siggelakis


The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is one of the most controversial courts in the United States due, in large part, to its high rate of reversal by the United States Supreme Court. The existing scholarship advances several potential explanations for the Ninth Circuit's reversal rate, particularly the Ninth Circuit's reputation as a very liberal court. This study evaluates the Ninth Circuit cases reviewed by the Supreme Court during the 1994-2004 terms to determine whether there are explanatory patterns to the Supreme Court's disposition of cases from the Ninth Circuit over time. Examining the effects of the membership of the original three-judge panel, the presence of a government appellant, and the application of the due process guarantees, this study identifies substantial differences between the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court.