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Title: Mobilizing Litigants: Private Enforcement of Public Laws
Authors: Gardner, Paul Jay
Advisors: Frymer, Paul
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: civil rights
interest groups
legal mobilization
private enforcement
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Litigation to enforce federal laws has increased since the 1960s. Yet, there remains substantial diversity in the amount of private enforcement across statutes. The dissertation offers explanations for the use and disuse of private statutory litigation in support of public laws. Chapter 2 challenges the predominant narrative in the political science literature for the adoption of private enforcement regimes before turning in Chapter 3 to the politics of private litigation after the passage of private enforcement statutes. This chapter assesses the affect that political actors have on the use of private litigation after lawsuits have been authorized. The evidence indicates that Democratic presidents and liberal agencies are associated with higher levels of private statutory claiming. More legal filings also occur where interest group concentrations are high and under more liberal and more Democratic judges. Chapter 4 investigates reasons for the massive growth of employment discrimination claims. Interest group strategies supported the growth of individual claims through organizational work and through successful doctrinal strategies. Chapter 5 continues the thread of the previous chapter, arguing that the success of private enforcement regimes depends on the type of policy enacted. This chapter contrasts the massive growth of employment discrimination litigation with the relatively fewer voting rights and housing discrimination lawsuits, arguing that fundamental differences in litigant motivations limited the ability of civil rights interest groups to support greater levels of legal claiming. Chapter 6 uses new data to correct misconceptions in the literature about the proportion of lawsuits brought by interest group and repeat plaintiffs under the Clean Water Act, showing that repeat plaintiffs still make up the bulk of citizen suit litigation. I then show that these repeat plaintiffs are more likely to file cases in federal court, and are more likely to win cases filed. Chapter 7 examines the determinants of Clean Water Act lawsuit filings, showing that concentration of environmental interest group organizations is important for determining where and when litigation will take place. Judicial and executive ideology also affect the filing of suits, and the chapter additionally clarifies the mechanism of this effect using evidence from interest group archives.
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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