The Chief Justice: Democratic Leadership of the Judicial Decision-Making Process in the Hidden Branch
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My dissertation examines chief justice leadership of the United States Supreme Court during the judicial decision-making process. With the office steeped in secrecy, I borrow seminal concepts from the leadership literature such as autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic leadership and adapt them to the office in order to systematically identify dominant patterns of leadership. While chief justices use different styles, the office is chiefly democratic in both structure and operation, which makes the chief justice a “first among equals” and requires him to be just as good of a political negotiator as he is a competent legal judge. This is a unique, but under appreciated, feature of the chief justice when compared to the associate justices.