Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-2h7tr Total loading time: 0.227 Render date: 2022-07-01T05:14:50.655Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Judicial Behavior under Political Constraints: Evidence from the European Court of Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 2008

CLIFFORD J. CARRUBBA*
Affiliation:
Emory University
MATTHEW GABEL*
Affiliation:
Washington University in St. Louis
CHARLES HANKLA*
Affiliation:
Georgia State University
*
Clifford J. Carruba is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Emory University, 307 Tarbutton Hall, 1555 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322 (ccarrub@emory.edu).
Matthew Gabel is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1063, 326 Eliot Hall, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63105 (mgabel@artsci.wustl.edu).
Charles Hankla is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Georgia State University, 8 Peachtree Center Avenue, Suite 1005, Atlanta, GA 30303-2514 (chankla@gsu.edu).

Abstract

The actual impact of judicial decisions often depends on the behavior of executive and legislative bodies that implement the rulings. Consequently, when a court hears a case involving the interests of those controlling the executive and legislative institutions, those interests can threaten to obstruct the court's intended outcome. In this paper, we evaluate whether and to what extent such constraints shape judicial rulings. Specifically, we examine how threats of noncompliance and legislative override influence decisions by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Based on a statistical analysis of a novel dataset of ECJ rulings, we find that the preferences of member-state governments—whose interests are central to threats of noncompliance and override—have a systematic and substantively important impact on ECJ decisions.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Alter, Karen. 1996. “The European Court's Political Power.” Western European Politics 19 (July): 458–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alter, Karen. 2008. “Agents or Trustees? International Courts in their Political Context.” European Journal of International Relations 14 (Spring): 3363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Annual Report. 2007. European Court of Justice.Google Scholar
Bailey, Michael. 2007. “Comparable Preference Estimates across Time and Institutions for the Court, Congress, and Presidency.” American Journal of Political Science 51 (July): 433–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bednar, Jenna, Eskridge, Wiliam N. Jr., and Ferejohn, John. 2001. “A Political Theory of Federalism.” In Constitutional Culture and Democratic Rule, ed. Ferejohn, John, Rakove, Jack N., and Riley, Johathan. New York: Cambridge University Press, 223–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brambor, Thomas, Clark, William, and Golder, Matthew. 2006. “Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses.” Political Analysis 14 (1): 6382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burley, Anne-Marie, and Mattli, Walter. 1993. “Europe before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal Integration.” International Organization 47 (Winter): 4176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carrubba, Clifford. 2005. “Courts and Compliance in International Regulatory Regimes.Journal of Politics 67 (August): 669–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carrubba, Clifford. Forthcoming. “A Model of the Endogenous Development of Judicial Institutions in Federal and International Systems.” Journal of Politics.Google Scholar
Cichowski, Rachel. 2004. “Sex Equality.” In The Judicial Construction of Europe, ed. Sweet, Alec Stone. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 147–97.Google Scholar
Conant, Lisa. 2002. Justice Contained. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Dehousse, Renaud. 1988. The European Court of Justice. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Ferejohn, John, Rosenbluth, Frances, and Shipan, Charles. 2007. “Comparative Judicial Politics.” In The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics, Boix, ed. Carles and Stokes, Susan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 727–51.Google Scholar
Ferejohn, John, and Shipan, Charles. 1990. “Congressional Influence on Bureaucracy.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 6 (April): 121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ferejohn, John, and Weingast, Barry. 1992. “A Positive Theory of Statutory Interpretation.” International Journal of Law and Economics 12 (June): 263–79.Google Scholar
Garrett, Geoffrey, Kelemen, Daniel R., and Schultz, Heiner. 1998. “The European Court of Justice, National Governments, and Legal Integration in the European Union.” International Organization 52 (Winter): 149–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garrett, Geoffrey, and Weingast, Barry R.. 1993. “Ideas, Interests, and Institutions: Constructing the EC's Internal Market.” In Ideas and Foreign Policy, ed. Goldstein, Judith and Keohane, Robert. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 173206.Google Scholar
Gely, Rafael, and Spiller, Pablo T.. 1990. “A Rational Choice Theory of Supreme Court Statutory Decisions with Applications to the State Farm and Grove City Cases.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 6 (Fall): 263300.Google Scholar
Granger, Marie-Pierre. 2005. “When Governments Go to Luxembourg: The Influence of Governments on the Court of Justice.” European Law Review 29 (1): 331.Google Scholar
Harvey, Anna, and Friedman, Barry. 2006. “The Limits of Judicial Independence: The Supreme Court's Constitutional Rulings, 1987–2000.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 31 (November): 533–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helmke, Gretchen. 2005. Courts under Constraints. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
International Monetary Fund. 2003. Direction of Trade Statistics. Washington, DC: IMF.Google Scholar
Kam, Cindy, and Franzese, Robert. 2007. Modeling and Interpreting Interactive Hypotheses in Regression Analysis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
Kilroy, Bernadette. 1999. “Integration Through Law: ECJ and Governments in the EU.” Ph.D. diss. University of California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
Mattli, Walter, and Slaughter, Anne-Marie. 1998. “Revisiting the European Court of Justice.” International Organization 52 (Winter): 177209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pollack, Mark. 1997. “Delegation, Agency, and Agenda-Setting in the European Community.” International Organization 51 (Winter): 99134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pollack, Mark. 2000. The Engines of European Integration. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Ramsayer, Mark, and Rasmusen, Eric. 2003. Measuring Judicial Independence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rasmussen, Hjalte. 1998. European Court of Justice. Arhus: Gadjura.Google Scholar
Rogers, James R. 2001. “Information and Judicial Review: A Signaling Game of Legislative-Judicial Interaction.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (January): 8499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scharpf, Fritz. 1988. “The Joint Decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European Integration.” Public Administration 66 (3): 239–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Segal, Jeffrey A. 1997. “Separation of Powers Games in the Positive Theory of Congress and Courts.” American Political Science Review 91 (March): 2844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Staton, Jeffrey K. 2006. “Constitutional Review and the Selective Promotion of Case Results.” American Journal of Political Science. 50 (1): 98112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Staton, Jeffrey and Georg, Vanberg. 2008. “The Value of Vagueness: Delegation, Defiance, and Judicial Opinions.” American Journal of Political Science 56 (3): 504–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone Sweet, Alec. 2004. The Judicial Construction of Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone Sweet, Alec, and Brunell, Thomas L.. 1998a. “Constructing a Supranational Constitution: Dispute Resolution and Governance in the European Community.” American Political Science Review 92 (January): 6381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone Sweet, Alec, and Brunell, Thomas L.. 1998b. “The European Court and the National Courts: A Statistical Analysis of Preliminary References, 1961–95.” Journal of European Public Policy 5 (March): 6697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomz, Michael, Witenberg, Jason, and King, Gary 2001. CLARIFY: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results. Version 2.0. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, June 1. http://gking.harvard.edu (accessed December 1, 2007).Google Scholar
Tridimas, Takis. 1997. “The Role of the Advocate General in the Development of Community Law: Some Reflections.” Common Market Law Review 34 (6): 1349–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tsebelis, George, and Geoffrey, Garrett. 2001. “The Institutional Foundations of Intergovernmentalism and Supranationalism in the European Union.” International Organization 55 (Spring): 357–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vanberg, Georg. 2005. The Politics of Constitutional Review in Germany. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.Google Scholar
Whittington, Keith. 2005. “‘Interpose Your Friendly Hand’: Political Supports for the Exercise of Judicial Review by the United States Supreme Court.” American Political Science Review 99 (November): 583–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
170
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Judicial Behavior under Political Constraints: Evidence from the European Court of Justice
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Judicial Behavior under Political Constraints: Evidence from the European Court of Justice
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Judicial Behavior under Political Constraints: Evidence from the European Court of Justice
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *