State Court Budgeting and Judicial Independence: Clues from Oklahoma and Virginia
Administration & Society, Vol. 33, pp. 54-78, March 2001
25 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2009
Perceived assaults on the independence of the judiciary have called new attention to how courts obtain their funding. Little scholarly activitiy has examined the question of how courts negotiate the politics of budgeting in state arenas. Expanding our knowledge in this area is necessary if we are to understand fully how budgeting affects the ability of the judiciary to effectively play its vital role as an independent branch in American government. Through the use of elite interviews with state court administrators, executive budget officers, and legislative budget analysts in Oklahoma and Virginia, this article examines whether the independence of state courts is under assault by budgetary politics. The evidence questions whether state executive and legislative powers of the purse pose serious threats to the independence of courts.
Keywords: Judicial independence, budgets, budgeting, state courts, intergovernmental relations
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