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When and Why Repeals Occur

When and Why Repeals Occur

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One When and Why Repeals Occur
Source:
Congress in Reverse
Author(s):
Jordan M. RagusaNathaniel A. Birkhead
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226717500.003.0001

Chapter one argues that while the research on efforts to undo legislation is limited, repeals are both substantively important and theoretically valuable. Chapter one first defines repeals and then juxtaposes them with other forms of statutory reversals—such as sunset clauses, amendments, and reauthorizations. It then argue that repeals are not just another form of enactment, but are rather distinct for policy, political, and institutional reasons. Additionally, this chapter reveals that repeals are harder to pass than other kinds of legislation, even when controlling for a range of factors often associated with bill passage. Last, this chapter argues that repeals are largely driven by partisan, rather than problem solving or preference based, motivations.

Keywords:   repeals, amendments, new laws, partisanship, problem solving, preferences

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