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Publication Date


Publication Title

Justice System Journal


state supreme courts, state legislatures, institutional interactions, judicial decision-making


State legislatures introduce court-curbing legislation as they threaten to restrict the independence of state high courts. While scholars have examined when this legislation is introduced and what drives the introduction, we know little about how state supreme courts react to this legislation. In this paper I begin the examination into how state courts react to court-curbing legislation by looking to the court’s exercise of its judicial review power. I theorize that state supreme courts are less likely to invoke their power of judicial review when facing increased court-curbing legislation because judicial review is the most direct form of communication between the branches. I also argue communication is necessarily conditioned by the methods of selection and retention in the states. Examining narrow and broad court curbing, I find that neither type of introduction affects the use of judicial review by the state supreme courts and that, in line with previous scholarship, courts are using legislative ideology as an informational signal in this interbranch interaction.



This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Justice System Journal
43, no. 4 (2022): 486-502.