First, I will detail the prevalence of party polarization and how party polarization has limited congressional interest in its institutional prerogatives vis-à-vis the executive. Second, I will discuss my research findings governing congressional amicus briefs. I will consider patterns in bipartisan filings over time (comparing the less polarized 1974–1985 Supreme Court terms with the more polarized 2002–2013 terms). I will also consider the types of issues lawmakers and their institutional counsel have pursued in their filings. This investigation will reveal a decline in briefs in institutional cases and an upswing in briefs on politically salient issues that divide the parties (abortion, same-sex marriage, campaign finance, etc.). Third, I will draw some conclusions from this study and also draw some contrasts between filings by individual members of Congress and filings by the institutional counsels for the House and Senate.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2015

Publication Information

65 Case Western Law Review 933-1026 (2015)