Law and courts play a larger role in American policymaking than in similar countries—and a larger role than ever before in American politics. However, systematic efforts to evaluate the effects of judicialized policymaking are consistently plagued by problems of causal inference. Experiments offer a way forward. Causal claims by public law scholars are often undercut by validity difficulties that are avoidable if scholars engaging in observational research incorporate the tenets of experiments in their research designs, as well as if more public law scholars attempted to isolate the effects of judicialization in controlled settings, such as survey or laboratory experiments. An original survey experiment on the effects of media reporting on tort reform suggests that experiments have much to offer public law scholars. Despite certain challenges in implementation, experiments and observational research based on experiments provide a promising path for assessing the varied—and important—effects of judicialized policymaking.
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