Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Private Association and Public Brand: The Dualistic Conception of Political Parties in the Common Law World”

Graeme Orr has posted this draft on SSRN ((2014) Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy ‘Political Parties, Partisanship and Political Theory,’ Special Issue, Forthcoming). Here is the abstract:

This paper examines the legal conception of political parties. It does so by unearthing the history and ontology of the common law relating to political parties, in international perspective. The flexibility of the unincorporated association, in which parties are understood through the private law of contract as networks of internal rules or agreements, rather than as legal entities, has proven to be a mask. In the common law’s imagination, the ideal party is a ground-up organisation animated by its membership. But the law mandates no such thing, and in its statutory and constitutional conception intra-party democracy is sublimated as parties need be no more than an electoral persona or brand.


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“Sore Loser Laws and Congressional Polarization”

Barry Burden, Bradley Jones, and Michael Kang have posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Legislative Studies Quarterly).  here is the abstract:

To enhance explanations for party polarization in the U.S. Congress, we focus on an unappreciated legal structure known as the sore loser law. By restricting candidates who lose partisan primaries from subsequently appearing on the general election ballot as independents or nominees of other parties, these laws give greater control over ballot access to the party bases, thus producing more extreme major party nominees. Using several different measures of candidate and legislator ideology, we find that sore loser laws account for as much as a tenth of the ideological distance between the major parties.

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Supreme Court McCutcheon Opinion Coming Next Week?

SCOTUSBlog reports the Court will issue one or more opinions Tuesday. Although it is unlikely the Court will issue an opinion in the McCutcheon campaign finance case argued in October, because controversial cases with multiple opinions usually take longer to draft and release, it is possible that the opinion could be released Tuesday. This would be especially likely if the Court punts in the case, as Justice Breyer and others suggested at oral argument might be advisable.  The Court could remand the case back to the lower court for fact finding on the nature of the kind of joint fundraising committee fundraising which could occur if the courts blow up the federal aggregate limits.

Again, I’m not saying this is likely, but it is possible.

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