Date of Award

8-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Burnside, Randolph

Abstract

The specialized role of the solicitor general has been a topic of much discussion and research within the past, but the task of the solicitor as amicus curiae has been overlooked. A content analysis of Court majority opinions and their corresponding solicitor general amicus briefs for the terms of 1987, 1995, and 2003, allows us to examine the flow of language from brief to opinion, as well at its possible incorporation into legal doctrine and the creation of law. Through implementing Crawdad Text Analysis System© software, the percentage of identical language contained in each corresponding set of documents is reported in the form of a resonance score. Invitation amicus briefs, which are extremely rare and have not been present much within past literature, were also examined in the same manner. Findings show small to medium resonance scores between amicus and Court opinions, with averages between 26 to 33 percent. Invitation amicus have a higher percent of language overlap with averages from 31 to 43 percent. The way the Court implements language contained in amicus briefs shows that the Court might not be as independent as scholars such as Dahl had previously thought.

Share

COinS
 

Access

This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Others should
contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library.