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Ethnic and Partisan Minorities in Two Southern State Legislatures

Keith E. Hamm, Robert Harmel and Robert Thompson
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Vol. 8, No. 2 (May, 1983), pp. 177-189
Published by: Washington University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/439427
Page Count: 13
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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.
Ethnic and Partisan Minorities in Two Southern State Legislatures
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Abstract

In the past two decades, the number of Republican, black, and Mexican-American representatives elected to Southern state legislatures has increased appreciably. This study addresses the question of whether these "new" representatives have had a significant impact upon the legislative process. It first examines the relationships between leadership and seniority on the one hand and activity and success in legislation on the other hand in the Texas and South Carolina Houses of Representatives. It then examines the relative activity and success of minority and majority representatives in these houses. houses. The findings clearly suggest that minority representatives are not disproportionately active in legislation and that majority members are not substantially more successful in passing their legislation, both findings contrary to what might be expected. The variables which tap legislative status (i.e., leadership and seniority) predict a legislator's activity and success better than do variables which tap majority or minority status.

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