DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF INTEREST GROUP INVINCIBILITY IN THE COURTS
Published in 1991. American Political Science Review 85 (1): 205-217. (Revised version of papers delivered at the 1989 meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association and at the 1988 meeting of the Law & Society Association.)
Research on interest group litigation has provoked a reevaluation of the conventional wisdom about the study of pressure group activity and judicial politics. Nevertheless, the notion that interest groups are intrepid litigators that rarely lose to nongroup adversaries persists unchallenged and unscathed. We seek to determine if groups are, in fact, as invincible as the literature suggests. Several findings emerge that may undermine conventional wisdom about the relative efficacy of group-sponsored litigation. Most important is that groups are no more likely than nongroups to win, at least in U.S. District Courts. Based on this and other results, we draw a number of conclusions about interest group litigation and the direction into which future study might head.
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