Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Fun with stats, Supreme Court edition

Stephen Jessee and Alexander Tahk, two Ph.D. candidates at Stanford, have put together a website that attempts to estimate the ideological positions of Samuel Alito and John Roberts from their votes on the Supreme Court this term.

Perhaps the most interesting result thus far is that Roberts’ estimated ideal point (position in the unidimensional ideological space) is virtually indistinguishable from that of his predecessor as Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, although that is of course subject to change as more cases come along. (The Alito estimates seem to solely reflect the uninformative prior that Jessee and Tahk have placed on him thus far.)