Pulling punches: Congressional constraints on the Supreme Court's constitutional rulings, 1987-2000

Anna Harvey, Barry Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To date, no study has found evidence that the U.S. Supreme Court is constrained by Congress in its constitutional decisions. We addressed the selection bias inherent in previous studies with a statute-centered, rather than a case-centered, analysis, following all congressional laws enacted between 1987 and 2000. We uncovered considerable congressional constraint in the Court's constitutional rulings. In particular, we found that the probability that the Rehnquist Court would strike a liberal congressional law rose between 47% and 288% as a result of the 1994 congressional elections, depending on the legislative model used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-562
Number of pages30
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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