EXPLORING THE PARTICIPATION OF ORGANIZED INTERESTS IN STATE COURT LITIGATION
Published in 1994. Political Research Quarterly 47 (2): 335-351. (Revised version of paper delivered at the 1992 meeting of the Law and Society Association and the 1989 meeting of the Southwest Political Science Association.)
For nearly five decades scholars have explored interest group involvement in the court, with their insights providing substantive and, eventually, theoretical breakthroughs. While the early pluralists noted instances of group litigation in both federal and state courts, virtually all modern-day scholars have focused their attention on federal arensas. This emphasis is hardly surprising: we do not know whether or not interest groups participate in state court litigation in numbers sufficient to warrant investigation. In an effort to fill this gap, I address two interrelated questions about litigation in state courts: has interest group use of state judicial systems increased over the past four decades and has the scope of the litigation activity expanded to incorporate a wider range of interests? An examination of litigation activity in sixteen state supreme courts generally answers these questions affirmatively. It indicates a heightened presence of organized interests; it also shows that a wider range of groups now participate. Even so, growth has occurred unevenly; some states evinced precisely the kind of patterns I anticipated, while others were far more erratic.
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Click here for the Law and Society conference paper (.pdf)
Click here for the Southwest conference paper (.pdf).