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Judicial Influence on the Executive Branch: How the Prospect of Judicial Review Shapes Bureaucratic Decision Making

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Abstract:

Many scholars examine the delegation of policymaking authority to federal agencies and the extent to which Congress and the president can secure policy outcomes consistent with their preferences. Yet, existing research has devoted much less attention to the third major American institution, the judiciary. Agencies should anticipate the prospect of facing judicial review and seek to avoid costly litigation. Building off previous work on the influence of lower federal courts on agency decision making (e.g., Canes-Wrone 2003; Howard 2001; Howard and Nixon 2002), I argue that federal agencies possess the incentive to not only win challenges in court but also to avoid them altogether. Resources are better spent promulgating new regulations to promote an agency’s mission, rather than defending established policy. Therefore, the prospect of judicial review might compel agencies to craft policies that will both survive and avoid court review. Using original data of decisions by the Environmental Appeals Board, I will show that the EAB issues more pro-environment rulings when confronted with a liberal court jurisdiction. Overall, this study should contribute to scholars’ understanding of judicial influence in the policymaking process.

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Author's Keywords:

Environmental Appeals Board, Environmental Protection Agency, federal circuit courts, administrative review
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Association:
Name: Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference
URL:
http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p363283_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wohlfarth, Patrick. "Judicial Influence on the Executive Branch: How the Prospect of Judicial Review Shapes Bureaucratic Decision Making" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p363283_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wohlfarth, P. C. , 2009-04-02 "Judicial Influence on the Executive Branch: How the Prospect of Judicial Review Shapes Bureaucratic Decision Making" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p363283_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Many scholars examine the delegation of policymaking authority to federal agencies and the extent to which Congress and the president can secure policy outcomes consistent with their preferences. Yet, existing research has devoted much less attention to the third major American institution, the judiciary. Agencies should anticipate the prospect of facing judicial review and seek to avoid costly litigation. Building off previous work on the influence of lower federal courts on agency decision making (e.g., Canes-Wrone 2003; Howard 2001; Howard and Nixon 2002), I argue that federal agencies possess the incentive to not only win challenges in court but also to avoid them altogether. Resources are better spent promulgating new regulations to promote an agency’s mission, rather than defending established policy. Therefore, the prospect of judicial review might compel agencies to craft policies that will both survive and avoid court review. Using original data of decisions by the Environmental Appeals Board, I will show that the EAB issues more pro-environment rulings when confronted with a liberal court jurisdiction. Overall, this study should contribute to scholars’ understanding of judicial influence in the policymaking process.


 
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