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United States Supreme Court justices make decisions that have a profound impact on American society. Empirical legal scholars have portrayed justices as either single-minded or strategic seekers of policy, and there is little room in these theories for things like law, reputation, or personality. This book offers a fresh perspective that will jar Supreme Court scholarship out of complacency. It argues that justices' personalities influence their behavior, which in turn influences legal development and the United States Constitution. This impressive group of authors exhaustively examine every part of the Court's decision-making process, and focus on the trait of conscientiousness and how it influences justices over nine different empirical contexts, from agenda setting to writing the Court's opinions. The Conscientious Justice is an important and comprehensive account of judging that restructures existing approaches to analyzing the High Court.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
We consider the contributions made by Robert H. Bork's Coercing Virtue (2003) and Anne-Marie Slaughter's A New World Order (2004) to the ongoing debate over the citation of foreign law in United States courts. While empirically minded sociolegal scholars might be tempted to dismiss these books as mere op-eds, that would be a mistake. Taken with the spate of other recent work, they supply the makings of an agenda for rigorous research devoted to understanding the exchange of law among nations.
The epidemic of prescription and non-prescription opioid misuse is of particular importance in pregnancy. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada currently recommends opioid replacement therapy with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid-dependent women during pregnancy. This vulnerable segment of the population has been shown to be at increased risk of blood-borne infectious diseases, nutritional insecurity and stress. The objective of this study was to describe an urban cohort of pregnant women on opioid replacement therapy and to evaluate potential effects on the fetus. A retrospective chart review of all women on opioid replacement therapy and their infants who delivered at The Ottawa Hospital General and Civic campuses between January 1, 2013 and March 24, 2017 was conducted. Data were collected on maternal characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, neonatal outcomes and corresponding placental pathology. Maternal comorbidities identified included high rates of infection, tobacco use and illicit substance use, as well as increased rates of placental abruption compared with national averages. Compared with national baseline averages, the mean neonatal birth weight was low, and the incidence of small for gestational age infants and congenital anomalies was high. The incidence of NAS was comparable with estimates from other studies of similar cohorts. Findings support existing literature that calls for a comprehensive interdisciplinary risk reduction approach including dietary, social, domestic, psychological and other supports to care for opioid-dependent women in pregnancy.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certifies a suite of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) to address specific aspects of the performance of X-ray powder diffraction instruments. This report describes SRM 1879b, the third generation of this powder diffraction SRM. SRM 1879b is intended for use in the preparation of calibration standards for the quantitative analyses of cristobalite by X-ray powder diffraction in accordance with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Analytical Method 7500, or equivalent. A unit of SRM 1879b consists of approximately 5 g of cristobalite powder bottled in an argon atmosphere. It is certified with respect to crystalline phase purity, or amorphous phase content, and lattice parameter. Neutron powder diffraction, both time-of-flight and constant wavelength, was used to certify the phase purity using SRM 676a as an internal standard. A NIST-built diffractometer, incorporating many advanced design features was used for certification measurements for lattice parameters.
Systemic uptake of organic compounds from roots to leaves follows a Gaussian distribution in relation to the lipophilicity, as measured by the log Kow. Quantification of compound uptake with different lipophilicities, and applied as a seed treatment that diffuses through the seed coat into the embryo during imbibition, has not been reported. The aim of this investigation was to quantify the uptake of non-ionic compounds into seeds of soybean and corn. A series of fluorescent piperonyl amides were synthesized and a novel combinatorial pharmacodynamic technique was developed that provided a range of compounds from log Kow 0.02 to 5.7. Seeds were treated with a mixture of amides, imbibed and compounds chemically extracted and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography using a fluorescence detector. The maximum uptake efficiency of the applied amide mixture from whole soybean and corn seeds was 67% at log Kow 2.9, and 43% at log Kow 3.4, respectively. The critical partition coefficient for uptake for both species was <4.2 log Kow. Seeds were dissected and separated as soybean embryo and testa, and corn internal tissues (embryo + endosperm) or seed covering layers (pericarp + testa), and >75% of the amides were found in the soybean embryo or corn internal tissues compared with the covering layers at log Kow <4.2. The distribution of amides showed that the corn seed covering layer had similar hydrophilic/lipophilic properties as internal tissues, while soybean tissues had different hydrophilic/lipophilic properties. Collectively, the Gaussian uptake pattern for systemic uptake into plants was not found for either seed species.
We are a group of researchers and clinicians with collective experience in child survival, nutrition, cognitive and social development, and treatment of common mental conditions. We join together to welcome an expanded definition of child development to guide global approaches to child health and overall social development. We call for resolve to integrate maternal and child mental health with child health, nutrition, and development services and policies, and see this as fundamental to the health and sustainable development of societies. We suggest specific steps toward achieving this objective, with associated global organizational and resource commitments. In particular, we call for a Global Planning Summit to establish a much needed Global Alliance for Child Development and Mental Health in all Policies.
Planetary systems appear to be one of the crucial links in the chain leading from simple molecules to living systems, particularly complex (intelligent?) living systems. Although there is currently no observational proof of the existence of any planetary system other than our own, techniques are now being developed which will permit a comprehensive search for other planetary systems. The scientific rationale for and methods used in such a search effort are reviewed here.
Body image disturbance (BID) is a core symptom of anorexia nervosa (AN), but as yet distinctive features of BID are unknown. The present study aimed at disentangling perceptual and attitudinal components of BID in AN.
We investigated n = 24 women with AN and n = 24 controls. Based on a three-dimensional (3D) body scan, we created realistic virtual 3D bodies (avatars) for each participant that were varied through a range of ±20% of the participants’ weights. Avatars were presented in a virtual reality mirror scenario. Using different psychophysical tasks, participants identified and adjusted their actual and their desired body weight. To test for general perceptual biases in estimating body weight, a second experiment investigated perception of weight and shape matched avatars with another identity.
Women with AN and controls underestimated their weight, with a trend that women with AN underestimated more. The average desired body of controls had normal weight while the average desired weight of women with AN corresponded to extreme AN (DSM-5). Correlation analyses revealed that desired body weight, but not accuracy of weight estimation, was associated with eating disorder symptoms. In the second experiment, both groups estimated accurately while the most attractive body was similar to Experiment 1.
Our results contradict the widespread assumption that patients with AN overestimate their body weight due to visual distortions. Rather, they illustrate that BID might be driven by distorted attitudes with regard to the desired body. Clinical interventions should aim at helping patients with AN to change their desired weight.
Far-UV photons (FUV, E < 13.6 eV) from hot massive stars regulate, or at least influence, the heating, ionization, and chemistry of most of the neutral interstellar medium (H i and H2 clouds). Investigating the interaction between FUV radiation and interstellar matter (molecules, atoms and grains) thus plays an important role in astrochemistry.
The Orion Bar, an interface region between the Orion A molecular cloud and the H ii region around the Trapezium cluster, is a textbook example of a strongly illuminated dense PDR (photodissociation region). The Bar is illuminated by a FUV field of a few 104 times the mean interstellar radiation field. Because of its proximity and nearly edge-on orientation, it provides a very good template to investigate the chemical content, structure, and dynamics of a strongly irradiated molecular cloud edge. We have used ALMA to mosaic a small field of the Bar where the critical transition from atomic to molecular gas takes place. These observations provide an unprecedented sharp view of this transition layer (≲ 1″ resolution or ≲ 414 AU). The resulting images (so far in the rotational emission of CO, HCO+, H13CO+, SO+, SO, and reactive ions SH+ and HOC+) show the small-scale structure in gas density and temperature, and the steep abundance gradients. The images reveal a pattern of high-density substructures, photo-ablative gas flows and instabilities at the edge of the molecular cloud. These first ALMA images thus show a more complex morphology than the classical clump/interclump static model of a PDR.
In order to quantify the chemical content in strongly FUV-irradiated gas, we have also used the IRAM-30 m telescope to carry out a complete line-survey of the illuminated edge of the Bar in the millimeter domain. Our observations reveal the presence of complex organic molecules (and precursors) that were not expected in such a harsh environment. In particular, we have reported the first detection of the unstable cis conformer of formic acid (HCOOH) in the ISM. The energy barrier to internal rotation (the conversion from trans to cis) is approximately 4827 cm−1 (≈7000 K). Hence, this detection is surprising. The low inferred trans-to-cis abundance ratio of 2.8±1.0 supports a photoswitching mechanism: a given conformer absorbs a FUV stellar photon that radiatively excites the molecule to electronic states above the interconversion barrier. Subsequent fluorescent decay leaves the molecule in a different conformer form. This mechanism, which we have specifically studied with ab initio quantum calculations, was not considered so far in astrochemistry although it can affect the structure of a variety of molecules in PDRs.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorders and may be influenced by antidepressant use. This study investigated the association of oxidative stress, measured by plasma levels of F2-isoprostanes and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) reflecting oxidative lipid and DNA damage respectively, with MDD, anxiety disorders and antidepressant use in a large cohort.
Data was derived from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety including patients with current (N = 1619) or remitted (N = 610) MDD and/or anxiety disorder(s) (of which N = 704 antidepressant users) and 612 controls. Diagnoses were established with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Plasma 8-OHdG and F2-isoprostanes were measured using LC-MS/MS. ANCOVA was performed adjusted for sampling, sociodemographic, health and lifestyle variables.
F2-isoprostanes did not differ between controls and patients, or by antidepressant use. Patients with current disorders had lower 8-OHdG (mean 42.1 pmol/l, 95% CI 40.4–43.8) compared to controls (45.0 pmol/l, 95% CI 42.9–47.2; p < 0.001) after adjustment for sampling, sociodemographics and lifestyle, but these differences disappeared after further adjustment for antidepressant use (p = 0.562). Antidepressant users had lower 8-OHdG levels (38.2 pmol/l, 95% CI 36.5–39.9) compared to controls (44.9 pmol/l, 95% CI 43.2–46.6; Cohen's d = 0.21, p < 0.001). Results for 8-OHdG were comparable across disorders (MDD and/or anxiety disorders), and all antidepressant types (SSRIs, TCAs, other antidepressants).
Contrary to previous findings this large-scale study found no increased oxidative stress in MDD and anxiety disorders. Antidepressant use was associated with lower oxidative DNA damage, suggesting antidepressants may have antioxidant effects.
Previous findings have been mixed regarding the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and child cognitive development. The objective of this study was to systematically review relevant literature and to perform a meta-analysis.
Three electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO) were searched. Initial screening was conducted independently by two reviewers. Studies selected for detailed review were read in full and included based on a set of criteria. Data from selected studies were abstracted onto a standardized form. Meta-analysis using the inverse variance approach and random-effects models was conducted.
The univariate analysis of 14 studies revealed that maternal depressive symptoms are related to lower cognitive scores among children aged ⩽56 months (Cohen's d = −0.25, 95% CI −0.39 to −0.12). The synthesis of studies controlling for confounding variables showed that the mean cognitive score for children 6–8 weeks post-partum whose mothers had high depressive symptoms during the first few weeks postpartum was approximately 4.2 units lower on the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID) compared with children with non-symptomatic mothers (B̂ = −4.17, 95% CI −8.01 to −0.32).
The results indicated that maternal depressive symptoms are related to lower cognitive scores in early infancy, after adjusting for confounding factors. An integrated approach for supporting child cognitive development may include program efforts that promote maternal mental health in addition to family economic wellbeing, responsive caregiving, and child nutrition.
The field of Molecular Astrophysics or “Astrochemistry” has grown considerably since its inception in the late 1930’s. Molecules have been observed in astronomical environments as diverse as comets in the solar system and galaxies at the highest redshifts. The common thread in these studies is that molecules are excellent probes of the physical structure and dynamics of such regions, owing to the complexity of their energy level structure and the resulting emission and absorption spectra. In addition, the chemical characteristics provide a powerful tool to study the evolution of astrophysical regions. Molecules also play an active role in the energy balance of clouds. Interstellar space is a unique laboratory in which chemical processes can occur that are not normally found on Earth. Indeed, astrochemistry is a highly interdisciplinary subject, linking the macrocosm (galaxies, stars, planets) with the microcosm (basic chemical processes and spectroscopy). The increased potential of ground- and space-based observational facilities over the full wavelength range provides a wealth of information about the physical environments in which molecules occur and makes it possible to study the development of molecular complexity throughout the Universe.
Supreme Court justices have two primary goals while managing the federal judicial hierarchy. The first is a legal goal. Justices seek to ensure lower courts apply federal law uniformly (Lindquist and Klein 2006; Perry 1991). The second is a policy goal. Justices want to ensure lower court judges faithfully apply the policies the High Court creates (Murphy 1964). The problem, however, is lower court judges sometimes have their own goals that may not coincide with the Supreme Court's – or with the goals of judges in other circuits. As we stated in the book's introduction, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt once claimed to “follow the law the way it used to be, before the Supreme Court began rolling back a lot of people's rights” (Baum 2006). Defiance, indeed. At the same time, it is not uncommon for lower court judges to split on how to interpret federal law. For example, on July 22, 2014, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided Halbig v. Burwell (2014), holding the Affordable Care Act unambiguously restricted IRS subsidies to insurance purchased only on exchanges “established by the State.” That same day, however, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the language of the Act was broad enough to allow the IRS to subsidize insurance purchased on exchanges created by the federal government. The conflict between these circuits was huge, with the D.C. Circuit's interpretation threatening effectively to wipe out the controversial law.
In this chapter, we consider how the preferences of lower court judges influence Supreme Court justices’ goals and opinions; that is, whether lower court judges influence the clarity of Supreme Court opinions. We begin with a discussion about justices’ legal motivations and how clarity can help them achieve those goals. Next, we discuss how clarity can help justices achieve their ideological goals. After discussing these two goals, and how they relate to justices’ opinions, we examine how ideological conflict among lower courts leads justices to write clearer opinions, and how ideological distance between the two levels of courts influences Supreme Court opinion clarity.
A theory of opinion clarity and federal circuit courts
For those readers just joining us, our broad theory (as laid out in Chapter 2) is that justices alter the clarity of their opinions to enhance the likelihood of compliance with their decisions and to manage public support for the Court.
In Mapp v. Ohio (1961), the Supreme Court created the exclusionary rule, which held that courts could not admit evidence obtained illegally against a defendant. Chief Justice Earl Warren assigned the Court's majority opinion to Justice Tom Clark, a former Attorney General of the United States, a man responsible for the prosecution of thousands of criminals. In Korematsu v. United States (1944), during the height of World War II, the Court upheld the removal of Americans of Japanese descent to camps away from the West Coast. Chief Justice Stone assigned the Court's opinion to Justice Black, a staunch civil libertarian. These justices seemed unlikely to receive such opinions. But they did receive them. Surely other justices were as qualified. Why did these justices write the opinions? One scholar believes it is because the Chief and other justices were well aware of the need to manage public criticism of the Court's decisions (O'Brien 2008, 273).
The public can be a source of power for the Court, but also a constraint. Public support for the Court enhances its legitimacy. This legitimacy, in turn, gives justices power to rule. Yet frequent rulings against the public could cause it to lose legitimacy. In prior chapters, we demonstrated how Supreme Court justices alter the clarity of their majority opinions with an eye toward multiple audiences in the Court's political and legal environment, including federal circuit courts, federal bureaucratic agencies, and state legislatures. We now extend our focus to a fourth audience – the general public. We examine whether public opinion influences the clarity of Supreme Court majority opinions.
We begin by returning to our central theory – that justices use opinion clarity to enhance compliance with their decisions and, more importantly for this chapter, to manage public support for the Court. We discuss the role of public opinion as a constraint on the Court, highlighting how public opinion influences external actors and, thus indirectly, the Court. We also discuss how frequent rulings against the public could cause the Court to lose institutional support. Next, we discuss why ruling contrary to prevailing popular sentiment might lead justices to write increasingly readable opinions. We then discuss our data and measures, present our results, and conclude with a discussion about the broader importance of public opinion as a constraint on the Supreme Court.
The thrust of this book focuses on how justices seek to enhance compliance with their decisions and manage negative responses to Court decisions by adapting the clarity of their opinions to fit the context. And, the results have been supportive. In this chapter, we do something different. Here, we seek to assure the reader that opinion clarity can actually enhance compliance.
While there are a number of ways to check whether clarity induces compliance, we perform two tests. First, we examine whether clearer Supreme Court opinions induce greater compliance among lower federal court judges. As we demonstrate in Chapter 4, Supreme Court justices alter the clarity of their precedent-setting opinions when they have greater reason to expect circuit court judges will produce legal conflicts and shirk precedents. In this chapter, we take this examination one step farther. We consider whether federal circuit courts are in fact more likely to comply with clearer Supreme Court opinions. Second, we perform a study in which we ask survey respondents to read excerpts of opinions and rate whether they or others would comply. These results, like our statistical model of actual lower court compliance, show that people are less likely to comply with unclear opinions.
Modeling lower court compliance as a function of opinion clarity
We began by drawing a random sample of more than 500 Supreme Court opinions decided between the 1953 and 2000 terms. We choose these terms as bookends because 1953 corresponds to what scholars acknowledge as the beginning of the modern Supreme Court. We pick 2000 as the most recent term to ensure the opinions had sufficient opportunity to filter down to the lower courts and be treated by them. Next, to observe whether lower courts are more likely to treat (i.e., apply) clearer opinions positively than unclear opinions, we identify the approximately 9,500 federal circuit court cases that later applied those 500 Supreme Court precedents.
Our dependent variable accounts for whether the lower court positively treated the Supreme Court precedent, negatively treated it, or treated it neutrally. More specifically, using the Shepard's categories, a decision that “followed” a Supreme Court precedent is a positive application. A decision that “explained” or “harmonized” a precedent reflects a neutral application. And, a decision that “overruled,” “criticized,” “questioned,” “limited,” “superseded,” or “distinguished” a precedent represents a negative application.