Authors acknowledge that partisanship in the United States Congress has increased exponentially in the last 60 years and that partisanship has implications to the legislature. The authors quantify the extent to which the lawmakers are affiliated to members of opposite parties, and the influence of partisanship in the legislature. Firstly, the study reports that recent policy-making processes reveal a struggle for lawmakers to cooperate across party lines. In a qualitative study, authors use the roll call vote data from the United States House of Representatives from 1949 to 2012 and analyze the calls for which the responses were yay or nay or refrain from responding. Also, the call data of interest is mostly that which concerned a proposal for actions, or bills and legislations that produce new laws. The study reveals that partisanship is an exponentially prevailing trend in United States politics. For instance, the number of super cooperators has reduced significantly since 1949, and the recent calls reveal few cross-party cooperation. The consensus public opinion is that the preferential lawmaker is that who has higher partisanship standards. Besides, the Congressional partisanship has adverse impacts on the productivity of lawmakers. In that light, this article is critical to my research paper, since it reveals the nature of partisanship in the United States society. This source will help in putting partisanship and legislature in perspective, before developing the relationship between itself and restrictions on abortion.


Smith, Chelsea. “Change Over Time In Attitudes About Abortion Laws Relative To Recent Restrictions In Texas.” Contraception 94, no. 5 (2016): 447-452. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2016.06.005.

            According to Smith, the public attitude towards state legislatures and restrictions to abortions change over time with politics and religiosity. In his study, Smith analyses the attitude of the public in Texas between 2010 and 2014. He aims at establishing any relationship between the political waves and the extended public opinion concerning abortion. The point is, major political waves co-occur with waves of the legislature, and consequently affect public opinions. Using a quantitative study, Smith analyzes data from the Cross-sectional Houston Area Survey. He compares public attitudes before the Texas abortion legislation in 2010, after passing of the legislation in 2011, and after the 2013 legislature. The study concludes that support or lack of support for abortion by the public is influenced by political waves, which is a reflection of the implications of the state legislature in increasing partisanship. Overall, one would say that the article is about the association of public attitude, politics, and the state’s legislature. Therefore, Smith’s article is suitable to expound on the implications of partisan composition in a state amid political changes. It is a critical resource for my research since I intend to study the legislative factors that impact the worldview of abortion in the United States.

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Segal, Jeffrey A. “Judicial Behavior.” Oxford Handbooks Online, 2011. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199604456.013.0014.

In this paper, Segal asserts that personal preferences and legal rules influence judicial behavior. Further, the extent to which a judge makes a ruling is defined by the law and politics. Segal’s point is that legal realists who claim that judges’ behavior is such that they are single-minded seekers of policy are wrong. Instead, the actual factors that influence judicial behavior are debatable. In his view, judicial behavior is primarily influenced by legal rules and personal preferences. Segal explains that policy-making in the judicially is not done in isolation. Thus, other branches of the government are prone to temper the final decisions concerning policy-making through the personal preferences of judges. Through a systematic, empirical, theoretically based study, Segal supports his claims through a legal, strategic, institutional, and attitudinal approach to judicial behavior. For instance, from a legal perspective, the author finds that the lower courts are likely to rule favor of preferences of judges in higher courts. Overall, Segal utilizes the schematic and empirical approach to measure various judicial votes and correlate them with the judge’s partisanship to liberals or conservatives. Results indicate that there is a significant association of votes cast by judges with their normative opinions concerning policies. This work is explicitly concerned about judicial behavior, which is a critical part of my research. It will help me in creating a base argument that the personal preference for judges in making policies is a loophole for partisanship influence in the restrictions of abortion. In connection with other resources, I will identify the possible implications of affiliation of a judge to the Republican, Democratic, or Independent party to restriction on abortion.

Uribe, Alicia, James F. Spriggs, and Thomas G. Hansford. “The Influence Of Congressional Preferences On Legislative Overrides Of Supreme Court Decisions.” Law & Society Review 48, no. 4 (2014): 921-945. doi:10.1111/lasr.12109.

The study is based on the argument that Congress is likely to override the Court decisions that are not ideological with the legislative actors. Precisely, the authors reveal the possible instance when Congress would override court decisions. Firstly, the study appreciates that the Congress and the Supreme Court interact within the Separation of Powers framework. Also, the framework is prone to relapse since both institutions have the power to shape policies in their capacity. Authors highlight the assumption due to a lack of empirical evidence that Congress overrides the Court on issues that interest legislature. They validate their hypothesis by collecting data on congressional overrides of Supreme Court decisions between 1946 and 1990 and analyses it to find the percentage chance for Congress to override Court decision on both legislative interests and on the basis of ideological differences. Results from a two standard deviation shift around the ideological differences between the Court and the Congress reveal a 66.4 chance of Congressional override. In that light, this study is critical to my research since the override is one element of the Congress, which is populated by the partisanship ideology. Besides, one of the ideological differences which lead to overriding is partisanship, as proved in another resource for the research. Therefore, I will use it to back the idea that through the partisan makeup of the legislature, the Congress is prone to override abortion policies at the Court level.

Qualitative Studies

Reingold, Rebecca B., and Lawrence O. Gostin. “State Abortion Restrictions And The New Supreme Court.” JAMA 322, no. 1 (2019): 21. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8437.

In this paper, Reingold and Gostin argue that the New Supreme Court laws concerning state restrictions on abortions have other underlying impacts on the well-being of women. The authors point out that the primitive restriction enacted by the Supreme Court in 1973 has evolved through legislatures to the current generation of restrictions. Also, the evolution has come through some intense legislative waves such as in 2010 and 2015. For instance, the average restrictions per year have risen from 14 in 1983-2010 to 57 in 2011-2015. Also, Reingold and Gostin report that the changes are a consequence of shifts in the balance of the Supreme Court over the years, due to continuous changes in the legislative makeup. In that light, Reingold and Gostin find that partisanship and political affiliation of supreme court judges have impacted the restrictions enacted against abortion.

This paper is more focused on the politics that influence the partisanship of the Supreme Court and federal courts. Authors have availed a brief historical timeline of the abortion restrictions from the Roe and Casey cases, making sure to reveal the partisanship of the lawmakers in various restriction enactment scenarios. While the timeline is critical for the author’s paper – to reveal the impacts of abortion restrictions on the well-being of women, it is critical for my work. I will utilize the source in expounding the partisanship influence of the lawmakers and the judges’ decisions concerning abortion. Overall, the paper is about the abortion restrictions and the supreme court decisions that have affected the well-being of women dynamically since 1973.

O’Brian, Neil A. “Before Reagan: The Development of Abortion’s Partisan Divide.” Perspectives on Politics, 2019, 1-17. doi:10.1017/s1537592719003840.

O’Brian argues that abortion activism is less contingent on the elitism bargain for political parties in the United States. Rather, the prevalent waves of legislation regarding restrictions on abortion are rooted in consensual public opinions. The author begins by assuming the bystander’s position in evaluating the reasons for republicans to align with the antiabortion ideology. He finds that the attitudes of voters, activists, and elites are correlated with their political interests. For instance, across a range of noneconomic issues, Republicans are most likely to align with the ideologies of their presidential vote. Also, the political divergence on ideologies leads to a problematic policy-making exercise. O’Brian reference to abortion legislatures, pointing out that through partisanship, Republicans are likely to support antiabortion policies since they are politically wired to support republican philosophies.

In the same way, democrats are affiliated to human rights through partisanship and are likely to support abortion policies. These conclusions are imperative to my study since they provide a base argument that the majority party members in Congress are likely to vote for policies they advocate, thus influencing the legislature. That way, the legislative makeup of the Congress is significant in the success of a policy. I will use this resource to back the idea of the influence of Congress on the restriction of abortion.

Hill, Jessie. “Legislative Restrictions On Abortion.” AMA Journal Of Ethics 14, no. 2 (2012): 133-136. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2012.14.2.hlaw1-1202.

Hill’s does not take a position on the paper but summarizes the legislative restrictions on abortion that were implemented in 2011. They also reveal that the legislation on abortion has an evident trend, which continues sophisticating the bare minimum for women to undergo an abortion. Hill explains some of the 2011 restrictions, which are most notable. They include the banning of abortion before the fetus is visible, informed consent and waiting periods, restrictions on medical abortion, bans on insurance coverage, among others. Besides, Hill reports that the legislations are prone to motivate state restrictions both on abortion and on methods of contraceptives. According to Hill, trends in restrictions on abortion appear to threaten its course from many angles. For instance, the restrictions have made the justification of abortion sophisticated, and they continue to threaten the provision of abortion material in the healthcare market.

Regarding my research, this article is important since it is the reference resource for some of the restrictions enacted on abortion. I will use it to put abortion restrictions into perspective besides the partisanship in legislation as identified on another source. Also, it is an ideal resource to extract examples of restrictions through the development of the research paper.

Budde, Emma, Stephan Heichel, Steffen Hurka, And Christoph Knill. “Partisan Effects In Morality, Policy-Making.” European Journal Of Political Research 57, no. 2 (2017): 427-449. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12233.

The article concerns the implications of partisanship on morality policy-making. The primary argument for the article is that the political parties do matter in the variation of molarity policy outputs. Authors find that the current literature does not give a definite answer regarding the impact of parts a makeup on the government in regard to molarity policy-making. They prove their argument by reflecting on the partisanship involved in molarity policy-making on issues such as abortion, same-sex partnership, pornography, and other controversial social issues. The study identifies the nature of molarity policies to study public preferences, which may be influenced by one’s partisanship. Authors find that the party families (partisanship) prioritize freedom over collective political interests. However, governments face policing challenges since party families may hold different ideologies concerning issues that involve fundamental moral principles. Authors give an example of abortion, among other issues, as one of the moral policies that have become controversial due to differences in partisanship in the legislature. This article is critical as it will help in developing the main research idea. Besides, it is suitable for underpinning the moral perspectives of both pro-life and pro-choice partisans regarding their influence on the abortion restrictions.