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Measuring Judicial Activism$
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Stefanie A. Lindquist and Frank B. Cross

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195370850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195370850.001.0001

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Judicial Review of Federal Statutes

Judicial Review of Federal Statutes

(p.47) three Judicial Review of Federal Statutes
Measuring Judicial Activism

Stefanie A. Lindquist

Frank B. Cross (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter measures the justices' voting behavior in cases challenging the constitutionality of a federal statute, for the period 1954 to 2004 (the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts). First, the chapter describes the pattern of the Court's overall decision making in connection with constitutional review of federal enactments. Because these cases raise the possibility of the Supreme Court's invalidating the actions of a co-equal branch of government, they are among the most important elements of any analysis of judicial activism. The statistical evaluation of the justices' voting behavior these cases reflect substantial disparities between the justices in terms of their willingness to vote to invalidate federal laws, with several justices demonstrating high levels of both institutional activism and ideological activism, including Justices Douglas, Marshall, Brennan, Thomas, and Scalia.

Keywords:   coordinate branch, federal laws, congress, judicial review, constitutionality

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