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

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

Comments on the Judicial Connection

Alan Morrison and Robert A. Katzmann


Alan Morrison, Public Citizen Litigation Group

ALEXIS de Tocqueville said 150 years ago, "nearly any policy issue of any importance at all ends up in the courts." Tocqueville's statement is probably truer today than it was then. Thirty years ago American corporations did not sue each other, and they sued the government only once in a while, and only as a last resort. Litigation was simply not considered a course of action for nice people. Things have changed drastically over the past few decades.

The second point that I want to make is that the corporations and the religious right groups involved in recent litigations are different from the NAACP, the ACLU, and Public Citizen. In many of these earlier cases, interest groups were representing a minority interest against a majoritarian principle. That is, they were trying to defeat in the courts that which the legislature has provided.

The opposite has occurred in recent years because there is more majoritarian influence in the political system. The interesting thing about the religious right is that none of their cases would have been necessary but for the fact that Leo Pfeffer and his colleagues at the American Jewish Congress were successful thirty and forty years ago, making local boards of education feel compelled to act. Currently, the issues that school boards face are the opposite of the issues decided under the Warren court.

It is inconceivable, for example, that fifty years ago anyone at the University of Virginia would have tried to stop Ron Rosenberger from publishing Wide Awake: A Christian Perspective at the University of Virginia, a

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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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