The President and the Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press)




When presidents take positions on pending Supreme Court cases or criticize the Court’s decisions, they are susceptible to being attacked for acting as bullies and violating the norm of judicial independence. Why then do presidents target Supreme Court decisions in their public appeals? In this book, Paul M. Collins, Jr and Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha argue that presidents discuss the Court’s decisions to demonstrate their responsiveness to important matters of public policy and to steer the implementation of the Court’s decisions. Using data from Washington to Trump, they show that, far from being bullies, presidents discuss cases to promote their re-election, policy goals, and historical legacies, while attempting to affect the impact of Court decisions on the bureaucracy, Congress, the media, and the public.


  • Provides the most comprehensive examination ever undertaken of presidential speeches on U.S. Supreme Court decisions
  • Includes stories from the history of the American republic to illuminate how presidential discussions of Supreme Court decisions have and have not changed over time
  • Examines the effect of presidential speeches on the Court, Congress, the media, and the public
  • Blends normative scholarship with empirical and historical data on the relationship between the president and the Supreme Court
  • The data are presented in an easy-to-understand graphical matter, making the book accessible to a wide range of readers
  • Appropriate for use in advanced undergraduate, graduate, and law school courses focusing on the president, the Supreme Court, and the separation of powers

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Presidential Speeches on Supreme Court Decisions Database

This file contains the Presidential Speeches on Supreme Court Decisions Database. The data are in Excel, SPSS, and Stata formats, compressed in a ZIP file. To download the database, click here: Download Data.

Replication Materials

This file contains the data and do files to replicate the empirical analyses in the book. The data are in Stata format, compressed in a ZIP file. The Stata code to replicate the models appears in the accompanying do files. To download the data and replication materials, click here: Download Data.