Cover image for Designing judicial review : interest groups, Congress, and communications policy
Designing judicial review : interest groups, Congress, and communications policy
Shipan, Charles R., 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [1997]

Physical Description:
x, 173 pages ; 24 cm
Judicial review as a political variable -- Interest groups, Congress, and preferences over judicial review provisions -- Theoretical look at judicial review : agencies, courts, and uncertainty -- Interest groups and the origins of broadcast regulation -- Interest groups, judicial review, and broadcast regulation -- Congress and the provision of judicial review -- Conclusions and possibilities for future research.
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KF4575 .S54 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Members of Congress and interest groups fiercely struggle over the seemingly unimportant procedural details of legislation such as the provisions for judicial review. Charles R. Shipan, in a study based on a detailed consideration of congressional debates over communications legislation, argues that the actors realize that current procedural choices will structure future alternatives and thus are willing to expend considerable resources over these issues. Using a rational choice framework, Shipan argues that provisions for judicial review, such as the specification of which agency actions are reviewable and which courts have review authority, are among the issues over which interested parties struggle because these issues will significantly affect the outcome of important future court action.
Shipan tests his theory in a detailed exploration of the development of communications legislation during the 1920s and 1930s. This is a rich period in which to study the importance of judicial review provisions, for, while most political actors accepted the courts as part of the regulatory process, the concept of assigning broad decision-making powers to agencies was new and controversial. In addition, regulation of radio was both an important issue and one fraught with uncertainty, thus inducing members of Congress and interest groups to attempt to plan ahead for future actions. Shipan examines the motivations, actions, and choices of both interest groups and members of Congress. He then looks at the impact of the choices made on later court action in the communications legislation.
This book will appeal to political scientists and legal scholars interested in the politics of judicial review, the courts, legislative politics, and communication policy.
Charles R. Shipan is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Iowa, and is a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow, University of Michigan.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Recent studies on the regulatory process have increasingly emphasized the structures and procedures of regulatory agencies. Shipan (Univ. of Iowa) advances this trend, stating that the "specification of judicial review provisions [in statutes creating regulatory commissions] is a matter of concern to political actors." The theme of his book is that "political considerations underlie decisions about the design of judicial review." Instead of seeing judicial review as a neutral tool evolving under the rule of law, Shipan states that the availability and scope of judicial review are highly political matters. Interest groups want laws that facilitate their ability to appeal decisions made by agencies they cannot otherwise control, and they want to secure arrangements that limit appeals by their competitors. Congress has its own political motivations in designing judicial review. After laying a well-reasoned theoretical foundation, Shipan analyzes federal communications regulation, especially with respect to the early days of radio. He demonstrates that Congress responded to interest groups and to its own interests, writing laws that changed the role of courts in hearing appeals from the Federal Radio and Communication Commissions. Although the book uses familiar concepts, it applies them innovatively to an important specific context. Shipan uses mathematical models quite sparingly, employing traditional case analysis for the bulk of his study. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections. M. E. Ethridge; University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee