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Dr. Jordan Ragusa Presents Findings on Legislative Repeals

Posted by: andrewst | August 28, 2019 | No Comment |

Dr. Jordan Ragusa, researcher on the U.S. Congress and member of the political science faculty at the College of Charleston, spent his recent time on sabbatical exploring repeals in the American Congress, studying the process from the Reconstruction Era to the present day.

Though relatively untouched in the literature, the idea of repealing existing legislation has frequented news headlines in recent months and years with the change in party power in Washington, and has therefore become a popular topic in discussions about American politics. In his upcoming book, Congress in Reverse: Legislative Repeals from Reconstruction to the Present, Dr. Ragusa and his co-author, Dr. Nate Birkhead, explore the uniqueness of the repeal as a category of American legislation, as well as the potential causes of repeals, which they refer to as the “three P’s:” problem solving, parties, and preferences.

Dr. Ragusa explained during his August 21 sabbatical lecture that repeals are a distinct and intriguing category of American legislation because they pass into law so infrequently. His preliminary analysis showed the low probability of repeals passing both chambers, as compared to other categories of bills, such as amendments or reauthorizations. He then went on to explain the factors that account for such a low volume of repeals being enacted, finding that out of the “three P’s,” parties play the most important role. Specifically, party cohesiveness and former minority status are the most predictive factors that explain when and why repeals occur.

Dr. Ragusa has also published work specifically on the recent Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as well as on voting behavior in presidential and congressional elections, and public opinion on policy. He is a co-founder and co-director of the American Politics Research Team, which partners students with faculty to conduct research on a variety of topics in American politics.



under: Events

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