William & Mary Law Review


Bert I. Huang

Article Title

Judicial Credibility


Do people believe a federal court when it rules against the government? And does such judicial credibility depend on the perceived political affiliation of the judge? This study presents a survey experiment addressing these questions, based on a set of recent cases in which both a judge appointed by President George W. Bush and a judge appointed by President Bill Clinton declared the same Trump Administration action to be unlawful. The findings offer evidence that, in a politically salient case, the partisan identification of the judge—here, as a “Bush judge” or “Clinton judge”—can influence the credibility of judicial review in the public mind.