Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Political Science


Schreckhise, William

Committee Member/Reader

Shelton, Gina

Committee Member/Second Reader

Tumlison, Creed

Committee Member/Third Reader

Davidson, Fiona


For this thesis, I will analyze the tenure of five Supreme Court justices across the decades, ranging from the year 1940 up to the present year of 2022. The analysis will examine the variation between the justices' decisions at the beginning of their term compared to the decisions near the end of their term. The purpose of this study is to properly distinguish whether Supreme Court justices who have served on the bench for more than a decade are impacted by ideological drift and preference shifts throughout their career. The importance of this analysis is to determine the impact of whether there is ideological drift among the justices. Such ideological drift poses many additional questions such as whether their ideological drift affects their interpretation of the constitution. How does the drift impact the precedents that govern our nation, freedom, and democracy? Do the previous decisions of these justices lose merit now that their opinion on the matter has evolved? Should these justices have term limits? These questions will be evaluated alongside this analysis.


Ideological Drift, Preference Change, Justice, Judicial, Supreme Court, Tenure