Anna Harvey <firstname.lastname@example.org> is Associate Professor of Politics, New York University, 726 Broadway, Room 711, New York, NY 10003-9580.
Pulling Punches: Congressional Constraints on the Supreme Court's Constitutional Rulings, 1987–2000
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
2006 Comparative Legislative Research Center at the University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 533–562, November 2006
How to Cite
HARVEY, A. and FRIEDMAN, B. (2006), Pulling Punches: Congressional Constraints on the Supreme Court's Constitutional Rulings, 1987–2000. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 31: 533–562. doi: 10.3162/036298006X201922
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
To date, no study has found evidence that the U.S. Supreme Court is constrained by Congress in its constitutional decisions. We addressed the selection bias inherent in previous studies with a statute-centered, rather than a case-centered, analysis, following all congressional laws enacted between 1987 and 2000. We uncovered considerable congressional constraint in the Court's constitutional rulings. In particular, we found that the probability that the Rehnquist Court would strike a liberal congressional law rose between 47% and 288% as a result of the 1994 congressional elections, depending on the legislative model used.