Waiting for federalism: An empirical investigation into the Rehnquist Court's federalism decisions
Meddaugh, Joshua R.
MetadataShow full item record
The weakening of the levels of federalism due to New Deal policies and the 1937 Court-packing scandal, as well as re-solidification under the Rehnquist Court, has received much academic attention in the past few decades. Qualitative, (Belsky 2002; Overby 2003; Garry 2006) as well as quantitative, research (Maltzman and Wahlbeck 2005; Collins 2007; Parker 2011) has studied a wide variety of federalism topics in relation to the Rehnquist Court, but few have tried to uncover empirical support for the argument that a revival occurred during this era due to Chief Justice Rehnquist himself and his support of a limited central federal government. I suggest that an empirical test of the effect of Rehnquist's role as a chief justice on the federalism voting of Supreme Court justices will provide the explanation that the literature lacks. Not only will this test provide evidence that the conservative ideological nature of Supreme Court justices leads to ruling in favor of the states, but that the emphasis on re-establishing federalism by Chief Justice Rehnquist during this era lead to the increased number or pro-states rulings that transpired in comparison to earlier Courts. In the end, this work seeks to add to the literature by providing an empirical test of judicial decision-making during the Rehnquist era, offering a reason as to why the increased number of state sovereignty promoting federalism decisions occurred when they did.