Judicial Power in a Federal System: Canada, United States and Germany

Judicial Power in a Federal System: Canada, United States and Germany

Judicial Power in a Federal System: Canada, United States and Germany

Judicial Power in a Federal System: Canada, United States and Germany

Synopsis

Ruggiero provides a systematic evaluation of the 'interdependent nature' of judicial power within three federal systems. She seeks to answer the question: Why are some high courts more powerful than others? By integrating strategic assumptions about the behavior of courts and other political actors and by employing a comparative, historical analysis of court policy-making and legislative responses to said policy-making, Ruggiero tests and refines concepts of court influence as 'interdependent'. She finds that the influence of high courts and their decisions are shaped both by 'intrinsic' institutional features, as well as the 'extrinsic' environment (political and federalist).

Excerpt

In January 1991, the Utah Legislature, emboldened by the United States Supreme Court’s Webster decision permitting state restrictions on abortion, passed the most restrictive criminal regulations on abortion within the United States. As Governor Bangerter said, prior to signing the legislation, “With the present makeup of the US Supreme Court, and the obvious change in the court’s attitude toward abortion, the time is now ripe for states to again take steps to protect our unborn” (Salt Lake Tribune 1991: B1). The law prohibited virtually all abortions prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy and required extensive consent provisions and a 24 hour waiting period. Knowing that the law tested constitutional limits on abortion set out by the US Supreme Court, the state government established a litigation fund in order to defend the law. After exhausting all legal remedies, including an appeal to the US Supreme Court, Utah spent more than a million dollars in its failed attempt to defend the law.

In 1998, six years after the German Constitutional Court overturned a federal law liberalizing abortion procedures, and only two years after the federal law was revised according to the Court’s directives, the Constitutional Court found that Bavaria’s implementation regulations of the new federal criminal law on abortion violated the Basic Law’s Article 12 guarantee of citizens’ freedom of occupation. In its decision, the Court ruled that the Bavarian government had violated the rights of doctors by legislating that no more than a quarter of a doctor’s yearly earnings could come from . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.