Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Political Science


This study seeks to add to the current understanding of the political nature of the Supreme Court of Canada. We analyze a data set consisting of all nonunanimous published Supreme Court decisions for the period 1949 to 2000. A prior study by Tate and Sittiwong (1989) suggested a model of judge attributes for the period 1949 to 1985. We build on that analysis by extending the time period to 2000, which allows the impact of gender also to be assessed. We find that since the Court gained substantial docket control, the types of cases the Court hears has changed from the period studied by Tate and Sittiwong. In the more recent period, civil rights and liberties cases are much more substantial in number. We conclude some of the variables in the Tate and Sittiwong study may be time bound and we suggest a new model of attitudinal voting.