Professor McCubbins elected as a Fellow of the Society of Empirical Legal Studies

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Society for Empirical Legal Studies is an "international organization of scholars interested in empirical legal studies." Their annual conference was launched in 2006, "in response to the growing level of empirical scholarship in laws schools and elsewhere."  Professor Matthew McCubbins is part of the inaugural class of SELS Fellows 2015-2016.  

McCubbins is perhaps best known for the argument that legislative majorities, whether they be the dominant legislative party or a coalition parties governments (even supported minority coalitions) usurp the power resident in the legislature for their own purposes. Within busy legislatures, legislation is controlled as a consequence of a party or coalition of parties capturing control of key legislative assets, such as congressional committee in the US Congress, which because of the rules have blocking (or veto power) and thus serve as a gateway (or gate) to discussion of a bill by the full plenum. The legislative process is replete with gates that are both subtle and gross. All other powers to set the agenda arise as a consequence of creating and controlling the legislative process.