Party capability theory assumes that governments, due to their immense resources and status as repeat players, hold a great advantage over individuals and organizations pursuing litigation in courts. Less known is whether all levels of government enjoy this advantage, how they fare against one another and how an institutional arrangement such as federalism complicates such relationships. These questions are investigated using decisions made by the high courts of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The descriptive findings indicate that institutional arrangements, such as federalism, in some ways, confirm and in others confound traditional notions of which governments come out ahead, which yields important implications for party capability theory, specifically, and federalism, generally.
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