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Politicized Judicial and Congressional Asylum Policymaking, 1980-1987

Barbara M. Yarnold
The Justice System Journal
Vol. 17, No. 2 (1994), pp. 207-220
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27976856
Page Count: 14
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Politicized Judicial and Congressional Asylum Policymaking, 1980-1987
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Abstract

Courts are increasingly viewed as political institutions. In this analysis, due to vague standards for political asylum and withholding of deportation, the federal courts acted as policymakers when adjudicating asylum-related appeals during the period of 1980 to 1987. Further, judicial and congressional decision makers responded to quite similar political pressures in their decisions on asylum-related appeals and on an asylum-related bill, the Refugee Act of 1980. Both the federal courts and Congress responded to partisanship, interest group involvement, and constituent pressures, measured in this analysis by the relative flow of immigrants into a congressman's or a judge's state. The main difference in their decision-making patterns was that the vote of Congress seems to be related to region, while there are no major regional variations in decision making on asylum-related appeals by the federal courts.

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