The Supreme Court is at the top of the federal judicial hierarchy, but hierarchy does not necessarily imply control. If the Supreme Court is in fact to be supreme in its impact, normative legal theory posits that inferior courts must follow judicial policy as determined by the Supreme Court. Alternatively, principal-agent theory suggests that there will be times when agents (e.g., Circuit Courts) will shirk this responsibility and represent their own interests rather than the interests of their principals (e.g., the Supreme Court). Despite the importance of understanding court interaction, research on the topic has been quite limited and attention to a principal-agent perspective virtually non-existent. The theoretical and empirical work being undertaken by Dr. Segal represents a valuable step forward. Using principal-agent theory, he plans to investigate the degree to which the circuit courts carry out Supreme Court policy versus the degree to which they substitute their own self-interest. Specifically, the study will focus on search and seizure cases from 1962 through 1990 and examine both the following of precedent by circuit courts and the reviewing of circuit court decisions to correct them by the Supreme Court. Too little is known about the processes by which Supreme Court decisions affect lower appellate court judges. This study will contribute substantially to our understanding of this interaction and thus to our knowledge of the adminstration of justice in society.