This introductory chapter provides an outline of the book. It begins with a meticulous overview of existing studies of amici curiae, concluding that previous research has failed to establish whether amicus curiae briefs influence decision making on the Supreme Court. It then describes how the current interdisciplinary scholarship seeks to rectify the confusion regarding amicus influence by scientifically analyzing interest group influence on the Supreme Court in terms of: 1) the ideological direction of the individual justices' voting behavior; 2) the consistency of that voting behavior; and 3) the justices' decisions to author or join concurring and dissenting opinions.
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