Judicial Independence, the Power of the Purse, and Inherent Judicial Powers

Posted: 12 Jul 2004

See all articles by G. Gregg Webb

G. Gregg Webb

Princeton University

Keith E. Whittington

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Abstract

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

Webb, G. Gregg and Whittington, Keith E., Judicial Independence, the Power of the Purse, and Inherent Judicial Powers. Judicature, Vol. 88, August 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=557921

G. Gregg Webb

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

Keith E. Whittington (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-3453 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~kewhitt/

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