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2011 - Southern Political Science Association Pages: 1 pages || Words: 173 words || 
1. Johnson, Gbemende. "State Supreme Courts, State Agencies, and Gubernatorial Power over the State Executive Branch" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, Hotel InterContinental, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan 05, 2011 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-08-20 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Currently, an abundance of research analyzes the impact of state political and institutional environments on state supreme court decision-making. However, little research exists on the adjudicatory relationship between state supreme courts and the state executive branch. Governors across the country possess varying amounts of institutional authority over the agencies which comprise their executive branch. Examples of gubernatorial power over the executive branch include appointment power, budgetary power, and agency rule review power. One important factor that affects state supreme court decision-making on certain issues is the institutional capacity for retaliatory response from political elites. Retaliatory responses include legislative revision or constitutional amendments to override court decisions. Along these lines, the institutional capacity and power of the governor over the executive branch could also affect the degree of deference from state supreme courts. I argue that institutional control over the state executive branch by the governor can create a politically threatening environment for justices if increased control over the executive branch makes it easier for governors to ignore and evade implementation of decisions involving state agencies. Conversely, fragmentation of executive branch authority could cause justices to be less attentive to gubernatorial preferences because of increased difficulty of policy retaliation from the governor. Using cases from the Brace and Hall Database, I show that state supreme courts are more likely to rule in favor of state administrative agencies in states where the governor has increased appointment control over agency leadership and the power to review agency rules.

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