Judicial Policymaking: The Preemptive Role of State Supreme Courts
Committee ChairLanger, Laura
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research examines the relationship between courts and legislatures in a comparative perspective. Specifically, I examine how 1) the ideological composition of the bench; 2) the propensity of court involvement in a given policy area; 3) the disposition of court decisions in a given policy area; and 4) judicial institutional rules shape judicial-legislative relations and subsequently influence bill introductions and policy enactments by state legislatures. By examining HMO regulation and education policy in the American states during the 1990s, I find evidence that judicial influence does impact legislative policymaking, in both introduction and enactment stage, across both policy areas. Education policy demonstrates a stronger judicial impact than HMO regulation. While traditional scholarship has depicted the judicial branch as having minimal impact on policy formation, and subsequently social change, the findings of this study suggest that we have overlooked an important policymaking role of the judicial branch. Furthermore, state policy research has not given adequate attention to judicial influence as an explanation for policy formation in the American states.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science