What Comprises a Doctrine?: An Analysis of the Supreme Court and the Military by Ideology and Influence
It is accepted within the legal community that the military receives preferential treatment at and by the United States Supreme Court. This preferential treatment has been institutionalized such that scholars refer to it as the military deference doctrine. This doctrine generally states that the military will be much more likely to win at the Supreme Court than other actors, but also, other actors who share in the federal character of the military. Across the spectrum of opinions where the military is a party, the Supreme Court makes a point of saying that the military has a different character than the civilian community, but research has not examined what the cause of this underlying deference may be. Connecting legal doctrine to political science examination, I offer two ways to examine and quantify the success of the military at the Supreme Court. By examining cases that occurred after the move to the All-Volunteer Force in 1973, this allows a wide breadth of time, but also consistency in the understanding that military service is voluntary, allowing for an even examination of why the Court offers deference to the military institution.