The Supreme Court's reliance upon research and scholarly commentaries which examine the sociological factors that contribute to delinquent behavior has declined considerably during the last fourteen years. The author, in an effort to explain this decline, analyzes the seven major juvenile cases which have been considered by the Court since 1966. He conducts this analysis by focusing upon the subject matter of each decision, the importance of the issues arising therein and the author of each opinion. While some similarities appear, no consistent pattern emerges from this analysis. The article concludes that while juvenile law is an area which is particularly susceptible to "sociological jurisprudence'" the Court has, in recent years, placed declining emphasis on the evidentiary value of social delinquency research and has increasingly turned to legalistic conclusions as a basis for their holdings in juvenile cases.
Victor L. Streib
From Gault to Fare and Smith: The Decline in Supreme Court Reliance on Delinquency Theory ,
7 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol7/iss4/1