Interest GroupsI need help with the following question. Different interest groups will choose different techniques to achieve their objectives based on their resources, characteristics and goals....

Interest Groups

I need help with the following question.

Different interest groups will choose different techniques to achieve their objectives based on their

resources, characteristics and goals.

 

Why would an interest group choose litigation over strategies like Campaign contributions or Grassroots lobbying/mass mobilization?

Asked on by bramblefire

5 Answers | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I would think litigation would be the last choice.  Others have mentioned some of the reasons.  It's expensive, time consuming and unpredictable.  An interest group would only choose this to get attention, and only if it had a large number of resources.  It takes money to hire high-powered lawyers and publicists.  Without them, litigation would be disastrously expensive and ineffective.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The slow wheels of the litigation route might also work in a different way. Lawsuits are more assertive and sometimes garner more attention so the interest group sometimes gets more attention than taking other routes, and since lawsuits take so much time it equals more and longer exposure.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

As stated above the legal system is some times very slow. Once an issue gets into litigation it can stay in the news for the duration of the legal proceedings. This can sometimes buy the organization some free air time.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Generally, litigation is chosen when the interest group lacks numbers or clout.  In such cases, groups cannot really get their way through electoral or legislative politics and they must resort to litigation.

This strategy only works if the issue in question is legal in nature (school segregation, for example) rather than more purely political (budget deficit, tax reform).

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You'll probably get more complete responses if you post this on the question and answer section of the website, just fyi.

Litigation is a favorite of activist groups becaus the court system is slow.  So they use this technique when they want to stall or delay action by the government or industry, or in the case of the NRA, to overturn legislation they feel is harmful to gun rights.

Campaign contributions are also very commonly given by these organizations because campaigns have become so expensive, and candidates are more likely to respond to those groups that donate large sums.  It buys them access to a person after they are elected, so they can more effectively lobby their cause.

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