The lobbying activities of organized interests in federal judicial nominations

Gregory A. Caldeira, Marie Hojnacki, John R. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Techniques of modern lobbying provide organized interests a variety of tactical options. How does the mix of tactics employed by groups vary across different lobbying campaigns? When, and why, will groups use some tactics and not others? Prior research points to organizational structure and resources, features of the issue, and institutional forces as crucial determinants of lobbying. We analyze patterns of advocacy using data from a survey of interest groups about their activities on 15 federal nominations for judicial and related offices considered by the U.S. Senate from 1984 through 1991. We find that the overall amount of advocacy varies across nominations according to the importance of the office, as do the types of organizations involved - but lobbying tactics do not. We also find that organizational resources have some effects on the use of some tactics, but overall these effects are quite limited. Organizations of all types engage in multiple, often disparate, tactics. The absence of strong organizational constraints helps to account for the regularities we observe across lobbying campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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