Overruled?: Legislative Overrides, Pluralism, and Contemporary Court-Congress Relations

Overruled?: Legislative Overrides, Pluralism, and Contemporary Court-Congress Relations

by Jeb Barnes

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Overview

Since the mid-1970s, Congress has passed hundreds of overrides—laws that explicitly seek to reverse or modify judicial interpretations of statutes. Whether front-page news or not, overrides serve potentially vital functions in American policy-making. Federal statutes—and court cases interpreting them—often require revision. Some are ambiguous, some conflict, and others are obsolete. Under these circumstances, overrides promise Congress a means to repair flawed statutes, reconcile discordant court decisions, and reverse errant judicial interpretations. Overrides also allow dissatisfied litigants to revisit issues and raise concerns in Congress that courts have overlooked.

Of course, promising is one thing and delivering is quite another. Accordingly, this book asks: Do overrides, in fact, effectively clarify the law, reverse objectionable judicial statutory interpretations, and broaden deliberation on contested issues? The answers provide new insights into the complex role of overrides in U.S. policy-making and in the politics of contemporary court-Congress relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804767200
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 02/25/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 232
File size: 13 MB
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About the Author

Jeb Barnes is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California. He is currently a research fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgements xx Background 1 Chapter 1. The Questions, Debate, and Overview XX Chapter 2. Overrides in Contemporary U.S. Policy-Making: Promise and Current Understanding.......................................................................52 Part I: Do Overrides Matter? Chapter 3. Assumptions and Hypotheses.................................................................88 Chapter 4. Data, Methods, and Findings................................................................114 Part II: What Patterns of Court-Congress Relations Underlie the Override Process? Chapter 5. A Typology of Override Scenarios.........................................................143 Chapter 6. Operationalization of Typology, Findings, and Analysis...............................189 Chapter 7. Under What Conditions...? Assessment and Hypotheses..............................214 Conclusion Chapter 8. Broader Implications and Avenues for Future Inquiry..................................240 Appendix. Summary of Overrides Analyzed..........................................................254 Index

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Statutes United States, Judicial review United States, Law United States Interpretation and construction, Political questions and judicial power United States

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