Discuss whether judicial decisions are based on a) facts, laws, and precedent (the legal subculture)


One would expect public opinion to have less effect on federal judges, who are appointed for life than it has on those state judges who must regularly stand for reelection. For this assignment, youll focus on the basis of judicial decisions, approaches for analyzing those decisions, as well as the impact they have on society, precedent, and the law.


Complete the following sections of the to address the following:

  1. Discuss whether judicial decisions are based on a) facts, laws, and precedent (the legal subculture); b) public opinion, politics, localism (democratic subculture); or c) both. Provide specific examples and cite any sources used.

Sources and Formatting

  • Use at least three sources to support your writing. Your textbook may be used as one reference source and can be used more than once in your responses. Cite each reference in-text citations and include your resources on the Sources page


The role of judicial decisions in the U.S. legal system is complex and multifaceted. It is important to examine the different elements that can influence these decisions, including the legal subculture, which consists of facts, laws, and precedent, and the democratic subculture, which consists of public opinion, politics, and localism. In this essay, I will analyze the role of facts, laws, and precedent in judicial decisions, examine the influence of public opinion, politics, and local
In his 1957 article published in the Villanova Law Review, J Hanna explores the role that facts, laws, and precedent play in judicial decisions. He asserts that all three components are integral aspects of the judicial process. In regards to facts, Hanna notes that they provide the necessary foundation to establish the facts of the case and are also helpful in providing a wider context and understanding of the situation. Laws are also essential, as they provide the court with a framework to make its decision. Precedent, which refers to prior judicial decisions, is also essential, as it allows the court to establish a consistent line of reasoning and to provide a sense of stability and reliability to the legal system. Without all three components, Hanna contends that the court would not be able to make a proper decision. All in all, Hanna’s article provides an insightful and comprehensive analysis of the role of facts, laws, and precedent in judicial decisions.
DS Reed’s 2001 Social Science Quarterly article on examining the influence of public opinion, politics, and localism on judicial decisions provides an insightful look into the decision making process of the judicial system. This article explores how public opinion, the political environment, and the localism of the area can influence judges and their decisions. Public opinion can have a significant impact on the decisions of a judge, as public opinion can be seen as a form of pressure from constituents. Political pressures from higher powers can also heavily influence a judge’s decisions, as judges must answer to lawmakers and other politicians. Finally, the localism of an area can shape the decisions of a judge, as local culture can affect the way a judge looks at a case. This article provides evidence that each of these factors can have a considerable influence on a judge’s decisions, and that they should be taken into consideration when looking at judicial decisions (Reed, 2001).
The relationship between the legal and democratic subcultures in judicial decisions is a complex one. MS Crow and M Gertz (2008) argued that legal subculture is unique in its ability to perpetuate itself and remain distinct from other social structures. It is autonomous, meaning that it is not influenced by external forces such as public opinion. This is in stark contrast to the democratic subculture, which is strongly influenced by public opinion and is subject to periodic changes as well. The authors note that the legal subculture is associated with a literal interpretation of the law, while the democratic subculture is associated with an interpretation of the law that takes into account the changing values and perspectives of society. This can lead to a tension between the two subcultures, as a literal interpretation of the law sometimes conflicts with the values of the democratic subculture. This complex relationship between the two subcultures can be seen in the decisions of judges, as they must balance the literal interpretation of the law with the changing values of society. This can lead to a variety of outcomes, depending on how the judge interprets the law and how they weigh the various
Judicial decisions typically depend on both a legal subculture and democratic subculture. Judges and jurisdictions often draw on both precedents and public opinion when making decisions, highlighting the importance of considering both legal elements as well as community contexts. While courts are typically guided by the facts, laws, and precedents obtained from the legal subculture, the influence of the democratic subculture should not be overlooked. In the end, this tension between both cultures is necessary in order to create a legal system that reflects what society wants and needs.
Work Cited
MS Crow., M Gertz.”Sentencing policy and disparity: Guidelines and the influence of legal and democratic subcultures.”https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004723520800072X
DS Reed.”Not in my schoolyard: Localism and public opposition to funding schools equally.”https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/0038-4941.00005
“The role of precedent in judicial decision.”https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/vllalr2&section=29

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