Dr. Forrest Maltzman
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GWIPP Research: Forrest Maltzman

This page features research funded through GWIPP and performed by Forrest Maltzman.

Title: Collaborative Research:  Legislative Tactics and the Durability of Legislation

Funding: National Science Foundation

Researcher(s): Forrest Maltzman

Start Date: March 2010

Status: Current

Category: Institutions and Public Policy

Summary: This project examines the “lives” of laws. Some laws cease to exist rather quickly, many persist for decades. Some undergo major changes to their character, while others receive little to no amendment over time. The project seeks to understand the factors that lead to differences in how laws endure over time. Does Congress use particular tactics that increase the likelihood that a given law survives over time with little adjustment? Do the political or institutional conditions at enactment -- such as divided government -- affect durability?


Title Party Effects in Congress
Funding National Science Foundation
Start Date August 2001 Category Institutions
Status Completed Link Click here for a paper from the study

Conventional wisdom holds that the party system within the House and Senate is one of Congress's most important institutional structures. Nevertheless, the nature of party influence is not understood very well.  Recent efforts to characterize partisan influences in congressional policy-making posit both direct and indirect forms of influence. Such characterizations have largely been static in nature and tested exclusively in the House of Representatives.  Eric Lawrence (GW), Forrest Maltzman (GW), and Steven Smith (Washington University) propose to collect data that will be used to characterize the nature of party influence in  post-Reconstruction Congresses.

Title Creating Cross-Institutional Preference Measures: Methodological Improvements for Studying Constraints on the Supreme Court
Funding National Science Foundation
Start Date January 2001 Category Research Methods
Status Completed Link  

Since the founding of the United States, interaction between the Supreme Court and other political actors has been an important element of the American political landscape. Understanding the nature and implications of the interactions between the modern Court and other political actors has been an ongoing intellectual challenge. The key problem is the difficulty of comparing the policy preferences of political actors across institutional boundaries. Bailey and Maltzman propose a three-part research design to address these needs. First, Bailey and Maltzman propose undertaking extensive original data collection of cross-institutional position taking. These data provide the foundation for comparing preferences of justices, legislators, the president, and interest groups. Second, Bailey and Maltzman propose analyzing these data with novel preference measurement techniques to create ideal point estimates that are comparable across institutions. Third, they propose using the measures to model the influence of external actors on Supreme Court decision making.