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Title: Presidential Power and Judicial Constraint
Authors: Thrower, Sharece
Advisors: Canes-Wrone, Brandice
Contributors: Politics Department
Subjects: Political Science
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The existing literature on presidential decision-making focuses on his relationship to congressional actors, while largely ignoring the potential role of the courts. My dissertation examines how the president's ideological relationship to the courts influences his use of extra-legislative powers. In the first chapter, "A Formal Model of Signing Statements," I build a formal model of how the president, Supreme Court, and Congress bargain over policy. Several predictions are derived. First, the president is more likely to issue a signing statement when he is ideologically close to the Court. Second, the president will only issue a signing statement when he knows the Court will side with his position. Finally, conditional on the president being close to the Court, he is more likely to issue a signing statement when ideologically proximate to Congress. The second chapter, "Presidential Signing Statements and the Court: An Empirical Test of a Formal Theory," finds empirical support for the model's predictions. First, I find that as the president and Court become ideologically closer, the president is more likely to issue a signing statement. Second, the probability of a signing statement increases as he also becomes ideologically closer to Congress. Finally, the Court is more likely to rule in the president's favor on challenged legislation when he has issued a signing statement. In the third chapter, "The President, the Court, and Policy Implementation," I develop a theory of how the president uses executive orders in conjunction with rulemaking. The theory predicts that when the president is ideologically distant from the courts, agencies will engage in less rulemaking because courts are more likely to overturn their actions. Additionally, presidents will increase the number of executive orders giving agencies more authority to act. Testing this theory, I find that when the president is ideologically distant from the Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit, agencies engage in less rulemaking and the president issues more executive orders. Further, these results hold when examining environmental and labor policy. Finally, the results in New Jersey, a state that is institutionally similar to the federal system, but not in the dissimilar state of Texas.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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