The Interest Group Connection: Electioneering, Lobbying, and Policymaking in Washington

By Paul S. Herrnson; Ronald G. Shaiko et al. | Go to book overview

Organized pressure groups, either individually or in coalitions, bring issues to the Court for its resolution in ways not all that different from how special interests get sympathetic lawmakers to propose legislation. Groups often seek out plaintiffs to bring test cases and then ask similarly minded groups for their support, be it financial, technical, or in the form of individual or coordinated amicus curiae briefs. Thus, at the litigation stage, parallels can be drawn to the activities of groups who seek out lawmakers to sponsor legislation. Groups often seek out an issue and then find plaintiffs to allow them to make their case as it wends its way through a judicial system that contains just as many potential roadblocks as the lawmaking process does to potential legislation.

Groups involved in litigation as a mechanism to achieve their policy goals are perhaps most like other groups in their external activities. They often go beyond the courts to reach out to their members and the mass public through mailings, as well as television and print advertisements. Thus it is time to reintegrate the study of interest groups that participate in the judicial process into the broader study of interest group politics.


Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Ron Shaiko and Gregg Ivers for their helpful comments and suggestions on this paper. I would also like to thank Elliott Slotnick for first raising the idea of spin control in the context of Court reporting. A special note of thanks goes to Jess Waters at American University for her outstanding research assistance, especially plowing through thousands of pages of Senate Judiciary Committee testimony.


Notes
1.
All quotes here and the entire vignette are drawn from Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong ( 1979, 88-96).
2.
This information was culled from several sources and surveys conducted with group officials. See Caldeira, Hojnacki, and Wright ( 1996); DeGregorio and Rossotti ( 1994, 1995).
3.
This measure is used because it is one that forces groups to go on the public record where potential justices can easily see which groups, law firms, or individuals are for or against them by reading or seeing the public record of their confirmation proceedings.
4.
A list of these groups is available from the author. Some groups testified or filed statements about candidates without taking sides. These appearances are not included in this analysis.
5.
Those fifteen groups are Alliance for Justice, American Bar Association, Americans for Democratic Action, the AFL-CIO, Center for Constitutional

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The Interest Group Connection: Electioneering, Lobbying, and Policymaking in Washington
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Preface vii
  • Comments on the Electoral Connection 80
  • Part III the Congressional Connection 87
  • 6 the Dynamics of Lobbying the Hill 89
  • 7 Grassroots Organizations and Equilibrium Cycles in Group Mobilization and Access 100
  • 10 Interest Groups and the Congressional Budget Process: Lobbying in the Era of Deficit Politics 154
  • Acknowledgments 173
  • Notes 173
  • 11 Tobacco Industry Pacs and the Nation's Health: A Second Opinion 174
  • Comments on the Congressional Connection 196
  • Part IV the Executive Connection 203
  • 12 Lobbying the President and the Bureaucracy 205
  • Notes 213
  • Notes 223
  • 14 Lobbying for the President: Influencing Congress from the White House 224
  • Notes 238
  • Notes 256
  • Comments on the Executive Connection 258
  • Part V the Judicial Connection 265
  • Acknowledgments 287
  • Notes 287
  • 17 Please God, Save This Honorable Court: the Emergence of the Conservative Religious Bar 289
  • Acknowledgment 300
  • Notes 300
  • Notes 302
  • Notes 316
  • Comments on the Judicial Connection 318
  • Part VI Conclusion 325
  • 19 Interest Groups at the Dawn of a New Millennium 327
  • References 337
  • Index 361
  • About the Contributors 374
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