Pulling Punches: Congressional Constraints on the Supreme Court's Constitutional Rulings, 1987-2000
New York University Department of Politics
New York University School of Law
Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 4, November 2006
NYU Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 07-11
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 07-24
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 24, 2007
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