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Strategic Considerations and Judicial Review: The Case of Workers' Compensation Laws in the American States


  • Langer, Laura


Whether state supreme court justices vote sincerely or strategically depends upon: (1) justices' sincere preferences; (2) ideological differences between a justice and other state actors, which affect the willingness of actors to sanction justices; and (3) institutional rules and political settings, which affect the ability of other actors to retaliate against justices for objectionable decisions. Since institutional rules do not vary for the U.S. Supreme Court but do for the 50 states, state supreme court cases are the best site for testing conditions under which justices are likely to vote strategically. Moreover, amendment of state constitutions is relatively easy, which permits systematic examination of the extent to which strategic behavior manifests in judicial review cases. Using data on docketing and decisions on workers' compensation laws for 1970-1993, this research offers a broader understanding of strategic behavior by judges. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Langer, Laura, 2003. "Strategic Considerations and Judicial Review: The Case of Workers' Compensation Laws in the American States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 55-78, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:116:y:2003:i:1-2:p:55-78

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