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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 State and Local Laws

Judicial Review of State and Local Laws

(p.65) four Judicial Review of State and Local Laws
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 state statute, for the period 1954 to 2004 (the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts). The chapter begins by describing the pattern of the Court's overall decision making in connection with constitutional review of state enactments. Although these cases may not raise concerns over the separation of powers in the federal system, they do have serious implications for principles of federalism. 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 state laws, with several justices demonstrating high levels of both institutional activism and ideological activism. To some extent, these findings may reflect the historical dynamics associated with the civil rights movement.

Keywords:   state legislatures, federalism, judicial review, civil rights

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