Information and judicial review: A signaling game of legislative-judicial interaction

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Abstract

This article develops a simple signaling game in which a Legislative and a Court interact in seeking thier own policy goals. The Legislative faces two sources of uncertainty when legislating. First, it knows only probabilistically whether the Court's preferences converge or diverge from its own on the proposed law. Second, its know only probabilistically the true state of the world and, hence, does not know with certainty whether the law will reasonably achieve its intended outcome if enacted. For institutional and sequential reasons, the Courts has more information regarding the actual consequences of an enacted law than the Legislature did when initially considering it. As a result, the Court's exercise of the judicial veto may (but not necessarily will) be informationally productive. The possibilty of informative judicial review affects the quantity and informational quality of legislation enacted by the Legisiature relative to legislation that would be enacted in the absence of judicial review. Further, an informational component to judicial review alters the incentive that the Court has to act strategically relative to incentive for strategic behavior in purely distributive models of legislative-judicial interaction. Finally, because of the possibility of informative judicial review, the model accounts endogenously for the creation and maintenance of an independent judiciary by a Legislative that solely values achieving its preferred policy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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