Home Economics Commitment and cooperation on high courts : a cross-country examination of institutional constraints on judges
If a judge is influenced more by affiliation than accuracy, she likely takes some signal of like-mindedness from the party, and at least in part bases her decision on that signal. The easiest example is a conservative judge voting in favor of a party with conservative leanings. A judge who has worked in the government may favor the government’s position, or a former defense lawyer may tend to find for the accused. A judge from Nebraska may be more likely to favor a litigant from that state or neighboring states. In each case, of course, it will be necessary to separate out other factors that influence voting, such as the party’s resources or the government’s ability to select stronger cases to appeal.
Judges may not only feel an affiliation with the direct litigants but with the interveners. Judges may allow interveners in order to improve the accuracy of their decisions—because the interveners are thought to add some value in terms of information or perspective to what the parties would otherwise argue. However, a judge may also use interveners as either sources of information about the outcome that best suits their personal views or of arguments to support their preferred outcome.
If judges are influenced by affiliation, voting may be more extreme as interveners may push judges toward preferred policy positions. For example, on a court evenly split with left-leaning and right-leaning judges, interveners on each side may make it more difficult for these judges to find agreement, as they are encouraged to move in different directions. In countries with a more lenient intervener process, such as the United States and Canada, interveners may then generate disharmony on the bench. Other countries, such as Australia, may only allow interveners where the court anticipates that the intervener will be of significant assistance in deciding the case correctly.
Thus interveners may have a greater effect in those few cases, but a lesser effect overall.
If on the other hand judges rely on interveners for high quality information rather than as signals of affiliation, the ideology or personal views of the judges should not be connected to the ideology or other markers of policy views of the interveners. Judges may in such cases be open to persuasion by information. Relatedly, interveners may help judges minimize mistakes by providing additional information. Judges will likely rely on interveners for both accuracy and affiliation, depending on the country, the time period, and the ideological complexion of the court, among other factors.
Following on the idea that judges decide partly from affiliation with parties before them, we will examine the following hypothesis: 
H2: Judges will tend to vote in line with like-minded parties, whether litigants
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