'If We are Wrong...The Courts Will Correct It': Position-Taking, Judicial Review, and Legislative Voting
32 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2015 Last revised: 14 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 11, 2015
In this paper, I argue that the institution of judicial review affects the decision calculus of legislative voters by reducing the expected utility of supporting a legislative proposal with respect to policy change, while leaving the position taking value of legislation intact. I develop this argument through formal theoretical models of legislative decision making, and I test the predictions of these models empirically by analyzing a series votes cast in the United States Congress surrounding the issue of flag burning in 1989 and 1990. Observed patterns of voting across these legislative proposals support the models’ comparative predictions.
Keywords: Congress, judicial review, legislative voting, position-taking, Supreme Court
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