The Supreme Court and the Transition to Democracy

Author: Andrea Castagnola,Saul Lopez Noriega

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315520591

Category: Political Science

Page: 190

View: 9787

After more than seventy years of uninterrupted authoritarian government headed by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Mexico formally began the transition to democracy in 2000. Unlike most other new democracies in Latin America, no special Constitutional Court was set up, nor was there any designated bench of the Supreme Court for constitutional adjudication. Instead, the judiciary saw its powers expand incrementally. Under this new context inevitable questions emerged: How have the justices interpreted the constitution? What is the relation of the court with the other political institutions? How much autonomy do justices display in their decisions? Has the court considered the necessary adjustments to face the challenges of democracy? It has become essential in studying the new role of the Supreme Court to obtain a more accurate and detailed diagnosis of the performances of its justices in this new political environment. Through critical review of relevant debates and using original data sets to empirically analyze the way justices voted on the three main means of constitutional control from 2000 through 2011, leading legal scholars provide a thoughtful and much needed new interpretation of the role the judiciary plays in a country’s transition to democracy This book is designed for graduate courses in law and courts, judicial politics, comparative judicial politics, Latin American institutions, and transitions to democracy. This book will equip scholars and students with the knowledge required to understand the importance of the independence of the judiciary in the transition to democracy.
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Political Killings in the Partido de la Revolucion Democratica and its Consequences

Author: Sara Schatz

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781441980687

Category: Social Science

Page: 243

View: 8936

Murder and Politics in Mexico studies the causes of political killings in Mexico’s liberalization-democratization within the larger context of political repression. Mexico’s democratization process has entailed a little known but highly significant cost of human lives in pre- and post-election violence. The majority of these crimes remain in a state of impunity: in other words, no person had been charged with the crime and/or no investigation of it had occurred. This has several consequences for Mexican politics: when the level of violence is extreme and when political killings that are systematic and invasive are involved, this could indicate a real fracture in the democratic system. This book analyzes several dimensions regarding impunity and political crime, more specifically, the political killings of members of the PRD in the post-1988 period in Mexico. The main argument proposed in this book is that impunity for political killings is a structured system requiring one central precondition, namely the failure of the legal system to function as a system of restraint for killings. Dr Schatz’s research finds that political assassinations are indeed rational, targeted actions but they do not occur within an institutional vacuum. Political assassinations are calculated strategies of action aimed at eliminating political rivals. As a form of interpersonal violence, political assassination involves direct or implied authorization from political leaders, the availability of assassins for hire and the willingness of some political leaders to utilize them against political opponents, and violent interactions between political parties combined with judicial system ineffectiveness. A corrupt legal system facilitates the use of political assassination and explains the persistence of impunity for political murder over time. To reduce political violence in the transition to electoral democracy, specific institutional conditions, namely a structured system of impunity for murder, must be overcome.
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Argentina, Peru, and Mexico in the 1990s

Author: Jodi S. Finkel

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780268028879

Category: History

Page: 157

View: 9081

During the 1990s, judicial reform swept Latin America. While some of the region's supreme courts have been able to exercise increased power as a result of these reforms, others have not. Why do some instances of judicial reform appear to be leading to the development of a powerful judiciary while others have failed to do so? In this careful analysis, Jodi S. Finkel investigates judicial reform in Argentina, Mexico, and Peru. She suggests that while ruling parties can be induced to initiate judicial reforms by introducing constitutional revisions, they often prove unwilling to implement these constitutional changes by enacting required legislation. To understand the outcomes of judicial reform, as well as to predict where reforms are likely to empower courts, it is necessary to examine the political incentives faced by politicians at the implementation phase. Finkel argues that the implementation of judicial reform may serve the ruling party as an insurance policy, in that a strong judicial branch reduces the risks faced by a ruling party once it loses power and becomes the opposition. Finkel suggests that as the ruling party's probability of reelection declines, the likelihood of the enactment of reforms resulting in an empowered judiciary increases. "This book will be of interest for those in Latin American studies, where it should be well-received due to the author's close familiarity with and authority on the countries about which she writes; for scholars in the law and society field, where it supports and complements the work of Ginsburg and Hirschl; and to those in the policy field, to whom the book offers several important lessons." --Lisa Hilbink, University of Minnesota "By highlighting politicians' interest in protection against future threats, Jodi Finkel convincingly explains their seemingly paradoxical decision to enact judicial reforms that limit their own power. Her book constitutes a particularly interesting, thoughtful, and theoretically significant contribution to the burgeoning literature on judicial politics in Latin America." --Kurt Weyland, Lozano Long Professor of Latin American Politics, University of Texas at Austin "In this lucid study, Jodi Finkel extends our understanding of the politics of judicial empowerment with three case studies from Latin America. Well written and tightly argued, the book makes a convincing case that the incentives of politicians, rather than pressure from civil society or external actors, are the key factor to explain variation in judicial reform. Finkel has made a major contribution to the nascent literature on judicial politics in Latin America. " --Tom Ginsburg, University of Illinois
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Author: Jeffrey K. Staton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521195217

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 221

View: 3487

Although they are not directly accountable to voters, constitutional court judges communicate with the general public through the media. In Judicial Power and Strategic Communication in Mexico, Jeffrey K. Staton argues that constitutional courts develop public relations strategies in order to increase the transparency of judicial behavior and promote judicial legitimacy. Yet, in some political contexts there can be a tension between transparency and legitimacy, and for this reason, courts cannot necessarily advance both conditions simultaneously. The argument is tested via an analysis of the Mexican Supreme Court during Mexico's recent transition to democracy, and also through a cross-national analysis of public perceptions of judicial legitimacy. The results demonstrate that judges can be active participants in the construction of their own power. More broadly, the study develops a positive political theory of institutions, which highlights the connections between democratization and the rule of law.
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Author: Mark C. Miller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429962150

Category: Political Science

Page: 448

View: 7820

Judicial Politics in the United States examines the role of courts as policymaking institutions and their interactions with the other branches of government and other political actors in the U.S. political system. Not only does this book cover the nuts and bolts of the functions, structures and processes of our courts and legal system, it goes beyond other judicial process books by exploring how the courts interact with executives, legislatures, and state and federal bureaucracies. It also includes a chapter devoted to the courts' interactions with interest groups, the media, and general public opinion and a chapter that looks at how American courts and judges interact with other judiciaries around the world. Judicial Politics in the United States balances coverage of judicial processes with discussions of the courts' interactions with our larger political universe, making it an essential text for students of judicial politics.
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A Study of the Amparo Suit

Author: Richard D. Baker

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 1477305653

Category: Political Science

Page: 318

View: 482

The amparo suit is a Mexican legal institution similar in its effects to such Anglo-American procedures as habeas corpus, error, and the various forms of injunctive relief. It has undergone a long evolution since it was incorporated into the Constitution of 1857. Today, its principal purpose is to protect private individuals in the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed by the first twenty-nine articles of the Constitution. Mexico after its independence produced many constitutions. One of the earliest problems was to find an adequate means of defending the Constitution against ill-founded interpretations of its precepts. Like the United States, Mexico has developed a system of constitutional defense in which the judiciary is the supreme interpreter of what this document means. Unlike the United States Supreme Court, however, the Mexican Supreme Court has not been innovative in its decisions or contradicted the administration on major policy decisions. This difference must be attributed to the civil law system of Mexico as well as to the political climate. The first part of Richard D. Baker’s book describes the historical background of amparo and other methods of constitutional defense in Mexico. The three men most closely associated with creating a judicial form of constitutional defense in Mexico were Manuel Crescencio Rejón, José Fernando Ramírez, and Mariano Otero. Their own writings indicate that the immediate source of amparo must be found in the American institution of judicial review that was transmitted to Mexicans through Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The second part is an exposition of the workings of the amparo suit in the twentieth century and the constitutional and statutory provisions affecting it. Since 1857, when it was incorporated into article 102 of the Constitution, the amparo suit has evolved into a highly complex institution performing three functions: the defense of the civil liberties enumerated in the first twenty-nine articles of the Constitution, the determination of the constitutionality of federal and state legislation, and cassation. The Supreme Court is primarily limited to defending civil liberties through the amparo suit; it remains less innovative and more restricted than the United States system of judicial review, especially in the effect of its judgments on political agencies. Baker’s study is the first one in English dealing with this subject and is one of the most extensive in any language. It should be welcome as a valuable tool to all students of Mexican law, history, and political thought.
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Author: Thomas M. Keck

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022618241X

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 1122

When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, some saw the decision as a textbook example of neutral judicial decision making, noting that a Republican Chief Justice joined the Court’s Democratic appointees to uphold most provisions of the ACA. Others characterized the decision as the latest example of partisan justice and cited the actions of a bloc of the Court’s Republican appointees, who voted to strike down the statute in its entirety. Still others argued that the ACA’s fate ultimately hinged not on the Court but on the outcome of the 2012 election. These interpretations reflect larger stories about judicial politics that have emerged in polarized America. Are judges neutral legal umpires, unaccountable partisan activists, or political actors whose decisions conform to—rather than challenge—the democratic will? Drawing on a sweeping survey of litigation on abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, and gun rights across the Clinton, Bush, and Obama eras, Thomas M. Keck argues that, while each of these stories captures part of the significance of judicial politics in polarized times, each is also misleading. Despite judges’ claims, actual legal decisions are not the politically neutral products of disembodied legal texts. But neither are judges “tyrants in robes,” undermining democratic values by imposing their own preferences. Just as often, judges and the public seem to be pushing in the same direction. As for the argument that the courts are powerless institutions, Keck shows that their decisions have profound political effects. And, while advocates on both the left and right engage constantly in litigation to achieve their ends, neither side has consistently won. Ultimately, Keck argues, judges respond not simply as umpires, activists, or political actors, but in light of distinctive judicial values and practices.
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Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America

Author: Javier Couso,Alexandra Huneeus,Rachel Sieder

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521767237

Category: Law

Page: 287

View: 6144

Ideas about law are undergoing dramatic change in Latin America. The consolidation of democracy as the predominant form of government and the proliferation of transnational legal instruments have ushered in an era of new legal conceptions and practices. Law has become a core focus of political movements and policy-making. This volume explores the changing legal ideas and practices that accompany, cause, and are a consequence of the judicialization of politics in Latin America. It is the product of a three-year international research effort, sponsored by the Law and Society Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Ford Foundation, that gathered leading and emerging scholars of Latin American courts from across disciplines and across continents.
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The Politics of Subnational Judicial Reform in Brazil and Mexico

Author: Matthew Ingram

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107117321

Category: Law

Page: 320

View: 8444

This book explores the importance of local courts in enacting positive social and economic reform in Brazil and Mexico.
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Cases from Southern Africa

Author: Peter VonDoepp

Publisher: Lynne Rienner Pub

ISBN: 9781588266576

Category: Political Science

Page: 185

View: 2241

"That judicial institutions are important for emerging democracies leaves little (if any) room for debate. But to what extent do judiciaries in these new democracies maintain their autonomy? And what accounts for varying levels of autonomy across states? Drawing on the cases of Malawi, Zambia, and Namibia - and offering a novel analytical framework - Peter VonDoepp illuminates why power holders behave as they do toward the courts." "VonDoepp considers whether and why political leaders have respected or undermined judicial autonomy in each of the three cases. He also addresses how the courts themselves have shaped executive-judicial relations. His findings present unexpected challenges for existing frameworks, as well as important lessons about the factors and conditions affecting judicial development in transitional states."--BOOK JACKET.
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Author: Maurilio E. Vigil,Michael Olsen,Roy Lujan

Publisher: University Press of America

ISBN: 9780819177902

Category: Political Science

Page: 196

View: 9894

This book provides a comprehensive and penetrating investigation of the governmental and political processes of New Mexico. It combines a view of how the social and political history have shaped contemporary New Mexico political culture and the nature of governmental and political affairs. Formal governmental institutions and political processes provide a descriptive narrative of New Mexico government and politics. Contents: PART I: The Function of State Government; The Land of Enchantment; Paso por aqui; Powers Not Delegated; Any Amendment or Amendments to this Constitution; PART II: The Form of Government; The Executive Department Shall Consist of...; The Legislative Power Shall Be Vested In; The Judicial Power of the State Shall Be Vested In; All Elections Shall be Free and Open: Parties and Politics in New Mexico; From Bernalillo to Valencia: County Government; From Aztec to Wagon Mound: Municipal Government; Pueblos, Acequias and Land Grants: Other Political Units Mexico; PART III: The Future of State Government; Public Policymaking in New Mexico.
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Author: Kevin J. Middlebrook

Publisher: Institute of Latin American Studies

ISBN: 9781900039451

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 570

View: 8872

The victory by Vicente Fox Quesada in Mexico's July 2000 presidential election was a watershed in the country's political history. His triumph convincingly marked the consolidation of electoral democracy and, by ending seven decades of uninterrupted national rule by the "official" Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), symbolized a clear break with the political regime established following the 1910-1920 revolution. Nevertheless, many legacies of postrevolutionary authoritarianism persist, and Mexico's democratization process remains incomplete.The seventeen contributors to this volume assess Mexico's political dynamics at the turn of the century and the many pending challenges in the construction of a more fully democratic political order. They examine: (1) changes affecting the party system, electoral institutions, and voting behavior; (2) the evolving role of the armed forces, organized labor, big business, and rural producers; (3) the new importance of civil society, the mass media, and cross-border social coalitions; (4) and key issues of political representation and governance, including executive-legislative relations, judicial performance, federalism, the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples, and the political role of Mexicans resident in the United States.
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Author: Gretchen Helmke,Julio Rios-Figueroa

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139497162

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 9212

To what extent do courts in Latin America protect individual rights and limit governments? This volume answers these fundamental questions by bringing together today's leading scholars of judicial politics. Drawing on examples from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Bolivia, the authors demonstrate that there is widespread variation in the performance of Latin America's constitutional courts. In accounting for this variation, the contributors push forward ongoing debates about what motivates judges; whether institutions, partisan politics and public support shape inter-branch relations; and the importance of judicial attitudes and legal culture. The authors deploy a range of methods, including qualitative case studies, paired country comparisons, statistical analysis and game theory.
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Implementing Human Rights in Police and Judicial Reform Under Democratization

Author: Niels Uildriks,Nelia Tello Peón

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739128949

Category: History

Page: 332

View: 8206

Mexico's Unrule of Law: Human Rights and Police Reform Under Democratization looks at recent Mexican criminal justice reforms. Using Mexico City as a case study of the social and institutional realities, Niels Uildriks focuses on the evolving police and justice system within the county's long-term transition from authoritarian to democratic governance. By analyzing extensive and penetrating police surveys and interviews, he goes further to offer innovative ideas on how to simultaneously achieve greater community security, democratic policing, and adherence to human rights.
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A Culturalist Approach

Author: Sara Schatz

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780275966669

Category: History

Page: 132

View: 2544

This book analyzes the transition to democracy in Mexico by developing and using a general model of delayed transitions to democracy.
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The Impact of Democratization

Author: Stephen D. Morris

Publisher: Lynne Rienner Pub

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 307

View: 3289

"Has the fundamental shift in Mexico's political system away from single-party authoritarian rule had any impact on the pattern of corruption that has plagued the country for years? Is there less or more corruption today? Have different types of corruption emerged? If so, why? Stephen Morris addresses these questions, comprehensively exploring how the changes of the past decade - political, structural, institutional, and even cultural - have affected the scope, nature, and perception of political corruption in Mexico. More broadly, his analysis sheds new light on the impact of democratization on political corruption, the conditions that make effective reform possible, and the limits of an institutional approach to understanding the corruption equation."--Publisher's description.
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Author: Stephen D. Morris

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

ISBN: 9780817305253

Category: Political Science

Page: 202

View: 5726

This book addresses the causes, effects, and dynamics of political corruption in Mexico. Systematic analysis of corruption is critical to a better understanding of the politics of Mexico, and despite the many conceptual and methodological obstacles, the importance of the subject matter demands treatment. Morris's work should therefore be seen not as definitive, but as an initial step in understanding a central dimension of Mexican politics. Corruption, as a topic of research, invites certain misunderstandings, as it is a broad concept conveying a variety of moral connotations. This inquiry into political corruption is not intended to depict the Mexican people or society as any less or more moral than others. The study draws on extensive content analysis of news reports from the Mexican press, a public opinion poll conducted in 1986, and personal interviews. The objective is not to expose scandals and wrongdoing by Mexican officials, name names, or point fingers; it is an academic endeavor. The author discusses scandals and gives examples of corruption for illustrative purposes, but his analysis is more theoretical than anecdotal. He questions whether in fact corruption has enhanced or diminished the stability of the Mexican government, and examines the reasons for the failure of many anti-corruption efforts.
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