You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Court-Created Context for Group Litigation: Libertarian Groups and Obscenity
Joseph F. Kobylka
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Nov., 1987), pp. 1061-1078
Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2130784
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Litigation, Obscenity, Libertarianism, Commercial courts, Group theory, Political science, First Amendment, Military alliances, Amicus curiae briefs, Political interest groups
Were these topics helpful?See somethings inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Studies have shown that interest groups can and often do use litigation to advance their goals. However, the literature has not specifically examined how significant changes in the law affect this behavior. A longitudinal research design allows this question to be addressed, and obscenity provides an excellent case study. In Miller v. California (1973), the Burger Court reversed the Warren Court's liberalization of obscenity law. The reversal stimulated a shift in the litigation burden among the thirteen libertarian groups involved in this litigation: groups moved by material interests mobilized to become the preeminent litigators, filling the void created by the exit of the more politically motivated ACLU. However, the reaction of material groups was not uniform: commercial groups litigated narrow questions with narrow arguments, while professional organizations engaged a broader range of issues and made arguments closer to those previously tendered by the ACLU. These diverse responses were conditioned by internal (group type, intensity of commitment, nature of goals) and external (disposition of courts, nature of threat, presence of other groups) factors. In addition to demonstrating the dynamics and vastness of the group litigation system, this research suggests the utility of a group theory perspective in developing a more generalized approach to the study of group litigation.
The Journal of Politics © 1987 The University of Chicago Press