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11.3d Litigation

Sometimes the interest groups find the usual political channels inaccessible. They then try to influence public policy by turning to the courts. Thus the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) won several cases in trying to improve the legal protection of African Americans. Recently, people have increasingly felt that urban interests are not represented in state and national legislatures. Therefore, more use is made of this technique.

The device of amici curiae, friends of the court, is also used by interest groups, which present briefs supporting one side or the other in cases before the courts. Thus groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Jewish Congress have gained a forum for stating the interests of their organization by this procedure.

Through legal periodicals, interest groups often get their view presented before the courts. Justices and judges read such journals in order to keep in touch with legal scholarship, or even to cite them as authority for their rulings.


11.0 - Introduction
11.1 Types of Interest Groups
11.2 The Functions of Interest Groups
11.3 The Tactics of Interest Groups
11.4 The Mass Media and Political Coverage

Chapter 12

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