After seven decades of Mexican judicial subordination, President Ernesto Zedillo in 1994 introduced judicial reforms that increased the independence and judicial review powers of the judicial branch. The willful creation of a judiciary capable of checking the power of the president and the ruling PRI appears to counter political logic; but it makes sense as a political "insurance policy" to protect the ruling party from its rivals. PRI politicians, newly unable to control political outcomes at state and local levels and unsure if they would continue to dominate the national government in the future, opted to empower the Mexican Supreme Court as a hedge against the loss of office. This article argues that the likelihood of the reforms' producing an empowered judiciary increases as the ruling party's probability of reelection declines.


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pp. 87-113
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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