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.
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.