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.
11.1 Types of Interest Groups
The Functions of Interest Groups
11.3 The Tactics of Interest Groups
11.4 The Mass Media and Political Coverage