Judicial Independence, the Power of the Purse, and Inherent Judicial Powers
Posted: 12 Jul 2004
State courts have claimed an inherent judicial power to order state and local legislative bodies to pay for specified judicial expenses. The centralization of state court administration and budgeting has created a context in which the inherent judicial power could pit the highest state courts against the state legislatures in constitutional battles over the general judicial budget. In the early 1990s, the New York state court was notably unsuccessful in attempting to exercise these powers to lay claim to a larger share of the state budget. A decade later, however, the Kansas court was politically more successful by exercising such power to raise revenues on its own. The episode raises basic questions about judicial independence and the separation of powers, while also exposing a political dynamic by which new political powers can be created.
Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.
Keywords: inherent judicial powers, state courts, budget politics, judicial independence
JEL Classification: H11, H72, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation