As a representative of the empirical theory of judicial decision-making,the attitudinal model will be helpful in understanding the″open area″in hard cases,as well as answering the questions like how judges act,why are they acting like this,what will be the consequence of the action,and what intellectual instruments will be the most appropriate for the analysis of these issues .If we use the attitudinal model to predict the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States,the accuracy is far above average .Among the various interpretative theories of the decision-making of the U .S .Supreme Court,the attitudinal model is dominant at present . The starting point of the attitude theory lies in the standpoint that judicial decision-making should not just depend on the application of the″right″legal rules .When deciding hard cases,the judge has a lot of discretion,and the exercises of discretion are directed by the judge's own views on public policy and rights .Judicial decision-making depends on three variants :(1) The facts of a case .This is the common core of both the attitudinal model and the legal model .However,the differences between the two models are that the legal model considers the facts in combination with legalism while the attitudinal model allows the Justices to vote by applying personal policy preference to the fact conditions .(2) Attitudes or policy preferences .They are the key in the attitudinal model .(3) The interaction between facts and attitudes .According to the analysis of the voting results from the Supreme Court and the Federal Courts of Appeals,judges'policy preference and votes are positively correlated,that is,the Justice appointed by a Democratic president are likely to vote in favor of the liberal wing while the Justice appointed by a Republican president will tend to vote for the conservative wing .No matter what method is used to determine the judges' political tendency and no matter which rank the judge belongs to in the judicial hierarchy,this presumed political tendency can always be found,and can explain to a large extent the variation of judges'votes on political issues . The attitude theory explains that when deciding hard cases,the judges make their decision not only depending on facts but also on policy preferences .Accordingly,the traditional normative decision-making theory,or the so-called″legal theory,″is generally thought to be lacking in explanatory ability and unfalsifiable,and is thus not″scientific″enough . The legal model theory claims that judicial decision-making depends on the following variants :the facts of the case,the Constitution and the statutes,the original intent of the framers of the Constitution,and the precedents .However,whether the judge in a judgment tends to be conservative or liberal,or whether he supports the plaintiff or the defendant,he can find support in the Constitution and the statutes,the original intent of the framers and numerous precedents .Therefore,the attitude theorists argue that the legal model would not provide adequate explanations for the final decision and that it is unfalsifiable . As with legal realism,the attitudinal model reveals the irrationality in judicial decision-making . Nonetheless,the attitudinal model emphasizes the practice of treating the irrational factors in a rational way and has constructed a judicial decision-making theory which can provide explanation and prediction . Yet the attitudinal model is not applicable to a massive number of cases .Besides,the phenomenon of ideological drift among Justices is also a point difficult to be explained by the attitudinal model .This is because the attitudinal model assumes that when the Justices make decisions,they submit to their policy preferences,and meanwhile the institution and rules relevant to the judicial process also authorize them to vote according to their own preferences in the open areas produced in hard cases .Although this theoretical logic has its practical foundation,it also has blind spots,since it only pays attention to the authorization given by the institutions and rules to the Justices but ignores the restrictions that institutions and rules impose on the Justices in their decision making .In quantizing the voting behavior of the Justices,the attitudinal model defines the ideology as judges' partisanship . This yes-or-no quantification of the attitudinal model is crude because it portrays judges as″politicians in robes,″and is thus destined to be a partial judicial decision-making theory .