The Litigation State

Author: Sean Farhang
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400836789
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Of the 1.65 million lawsuits enforcing federal laws over the past decade, 3 percent were prosecuted by the federal government, while 97 percent were litigated by private parties. When and why did private plaintiff-driven litigation become a dominant model for enforcing federal regulation? The Litigation State shows how government legislation created the nation's reliance upon private litigation, and investigates why Congress would choose to mobilize, through statutory design, private lawsuits to implement federal statutes. Sean Farhang argues that Congress deliberately cultivates such private lawsuits partly as a means of enforcing its will over the resistance of opposing presidents. Farhang reveals that private lawsuits, functioning as an enforcement resource, are a profoundly important component of American state capacity. He demonstrates how the distinctive institutional structure of the American state--particularly conflict between Congress and the president over control of the bureaucracy--encourages Congress to incentivize private lawsuits. Congress thereby achieves regulatory aims through a decentralized army of private lawyers, rather than by well-staffed bureaucracies under the president's influence. The historical development of ideological polarization between Congress and the president since the late 1960s has been a powerful cause of the explosion of private lawsuits enforcing federal law over the same period. Using data from many policy areas spanning the twentieth century, and historical analysis focused on civil rights, The Litigation State investigates how American political institutions shape the strategic design of legislation to mobilize private lawsuits for policy implementation.

Building the Judiciary

Author: Justin Crowe
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842573
Format: PDF, Mobi
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How did the federal judiciary transcend early limitations to become a powerful institution of American governance? How did the Supreme Court move from political irrelevance to political centrality? Building the Judiciary uncovers the causes and consequences of judicial institution-building in the United States from the commencement of the new government in 1789 through the close of the twentieth century. Explaining why and how the federal judiciary became an independent, autonomous, and powerful political institution, Justin Crowe moves away from the notion that the judiciary is exceptional in the scheme of American politics, illustrating instead how it is subject to the same architectonic politics as other political institutions. Arguing that judicial institution-building is fundamentally based on a series of contested questions regarding institutional design and delegation, Crowe develops a theory to explain why political actors seek to build the judiciary and the conditions under which they are successful. He both demonstrates how the motivations of institution-builders ranged from substantive policy to partisan and electoral politics to judicial performance, and details how reform was often provoked by substantial changes in the political universe or transformational entrepreneurship by political leaders. Embedding case studies of landmark institution-building episodes within a contextual understanding of each era under consideration, Crowe presents a historically rich narrative that offers analytically grounded explanations for why judicial institution-building was pursued, how it was accomplished, and what--in the broader scheme of American constitutional democracy--it achieved.

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Author: Emily Zackin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846277
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Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution. Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism. Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.

Lawyers Lawsuits and Legal Rights

Author: Thomas F. Burke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520243234
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Burke drills deep into America's unique culture of litigation and is rewarded with a powerful insight: it is not the public or even lawyers that are so darn litigious, but American law itself. This meticulous, dispassionate book stands not only to advance the debate but—I hope—to reshape it."—Jonathan Rauch, author of Government's End: Why Washington Stopped Working "Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights is a fascinating study of the American penchant for public policies that rely on lawsuits to get things done. Burke's analysis is insightful and original. This book compellingly shows that litigious policies have deep roots in our Constitution, culture, and politics."—Charles Epp, author of The Rights Revolution: Lawyers, Activists, and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective "Burke's authoritative book demonstrates that the highly litigious American system is not an isolated anomaly but in fact fits in with deeply-rooted elements of American political culture. Where citizens of other countries rely on expert or bureaucratic judgment to resolve disputes, Americans turn to the courts. Equally novel and compelling, Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights marshals an impressive set of evidence and delivers a refreshingly well-written look at the state of American litigation."—Frank R. Baumgartner, co-author of Agendas and Instability in American Politics

Rights and Retrenchment

Author: Stephen B. Burbank
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110818409X
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This groundbreaking book contributes to an emerging literature that examines responses to the rights revolution that unfolded in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. Using original archival evidence and data, Stephen B. Burbank and Sean Farhang identify the origins of the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law in the first Reagan Administration. They then measure the counterrevolution's trajectory in the elected branches, court rulemaking, and the Supreme Court, evaluate its success in those different lawmaking sites, and test key elements of their argument. Finally, the authors leverage an institutional perspective to explain a striking variation in their results: although the counterrevolution largely failed in more democratic lawmaking sites, in a long series of cases little noticed by the public, an increasingly conservative and ideologically polarized Supreme Court has transformed federal law, making it less friendly, if not hostile, to the enforcement of rights through lawsuits.

The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development

Author: Richard M. Valelly
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191086983
Format: PDF, ePub
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Scholars working in or sympathetic to American political development (APD) share a commitment to accurately understanding the history of American politics - and thus they question stylized facts about America's political evolution. Like other approaches to American politics, APD prizes analytical rigor, data collection, the development and testing of theory, and the generation of provocative hypotheses. Much APD scholarship indeed overlaps with the American politics subfield and its many well developed literatures on specific institutions or processes (for example Congress, judicial politics, or party competition), specific policy domains (welfare policy, immigration), the foundations of (in)equality in American politics (the distribution of wealth and income, race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual and gender orientation), public law, and governance and representation. What distinguishes APD is careful, systematic thought about the ways that political processes, civic ideals, the political construction of social divisions, patterns of identity formation, the making and implementation of public policies, contestation over (and via) the Constitution, and other formal and informal institutions and processes evolve over time - and whether (and how) they alter, compromise, or sustain the American liberal democratic regime. APD scholars identify, in short, the histories that constitute American politics. They ask: what familiar or unfamiliar elements of the American past illuminate the present? Are contemporary phenomena that appear new or surprising prefigured in ways that an APD approach can bring to the fore? If a contemporary phenomenon is unprecedented then how might an accurate understanding of the evolution of American politics unlock its significance? Featuring contributions from leading academics in the field, The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development provides an authoritative and accessible analysis of the study of American political development.

Disarmed

Author: Kristin A. Goss
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400837755
Format: PDF, Docs
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More than any other advanced industrial democracy, the United States is besieged by firearms violence. Each year, some 30,000 people die by gunfire. Over the course of its history, the nation has witnessed the murders of beloved public figures; massacres in workplaces and schools; and epidemics of gun violence that terrorize neighborhoods and claim tens of thousands of lives. Commanding majorities of Americans voice support for stricter controls on firearms. Yet they have never mounted a true national movement for gun control. Why? Disarmed unravels this paradox. Based on historical archives, interviews, and original survey evidence, Kristin Goss suggests that the gun control campaign has been stymied by a combination of factors, including the inability to secure patronage resources, the difficulties in articulating a message that would resonate with supporters, and strategic decisions made in the name of effective policy. The power of the so-called gun lobby has played an important role in hobbling the gun-control campaign, but that is not the entire story. Instead of pursuing a strategy of incremental change on the local and state levels, gun control advocates have sought national policies. Some 40% of state gun control laws predate the 1970s, and the gun lobby has systematically weakened even these longstanding restrictions. A compelling and engagingly written look at one of America's most divisive political issues, Disarmed illuminates the organizational, historical, and policy-related factors that constrain mass mobilization, and brings into sharp relief the agonizing dilemmas faced by advocates of gun control and other issues in the United States.

Comparative Law and Regulation

Author: Francesca Bignami
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1782545611
Format: PDF
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Governance by regulation – rules propounded and enforced by bureaucracies – is taking a growing share of the sum total of governance. Once thought to be an American phenomenon, it is now a central form of state action in every part of the world, including Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and it is at the core of much international lawmaking. In Comparative Law and Regulation, original contributions by leading scholars in the field focus both on the legal dimension of regulation and on how this dimension operates in those places that have turned to regulation to meet their obligations.

The Rights Revolution Revisited

Author: Lynda G. Dodd
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107164737
Format: PDF, Docs
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Examines the implementation of the rights revolution, bringing together a distinguished group of political scientists and legal scholars who study the roles of agencies and courts in shaping the enforcement of civil rights statutes.

American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

Author: Michael Ignatieff
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400826889
Format: PDF, Docs
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With the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the most controversial question in world politics fast became whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it. Does America still play by the rules it helped create? American Exceptionalism and Human Rights addresses this question as it applies to U.S. behavior in relation to international human rights. With essays by eleven leading experts in such fields as international relations and international law, it seeks to show and explain how America's approach to human rights differs from that of most other Western nations. In his introduction, Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism: exemptionalism (supporting treaties as long as Americans are exempt from them); double standards (criticizing "others for not heeding the findings of international human rights bodies, but ignoring what these bodies say of the United States); and legal isolationism (the tendency of American judges to ignore other jurisdictions). The contributors use Ignatieff's essay as a jumping-off point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism--America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example--or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism. These essays--most of which appear in print here for the first time, and all of which have been revised or updated since being presented in a year-long lecture series on American exceptionalism at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government--are by Stanley Hoffmann, Paul Kahn, Harold Koh, Frank Michelman, Andrew Moravcsik, John Ruggie, Frederick Schauer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Carol Steiker, and Cass Sunstein.