In Federalist 10, James Madison put forth the idea that in
order to keep any one group from becoming too powerful in government,
and to preserve the protections of freedom the Founders worked so hard
to craft, that there must be mechanisms to allow for competition among
groups. We can see evidence of this in the First Amendment allowing
Americans “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The ability for us
to join together for a common cause is not a new idea, but Madison and
the Founders wanted to ensure that our right to form common interest
groups was legally protected. We see this in modern times expressed in
interest groups. There are numerous interest groups in the country that
range from local groups to national to international. Some are well
funded and some struggle for funding. Some interest groups are about a
single issue (NRA and gun rights) and some are much more broad (AARP and
rights/treatment of retired persons).
In Texas, we have interest groups that are state specific, like Empower Texans or the Texas Community College Teachers Association, and there are also state chapters of national interest groups such as Texas NAACP or Texas Farm Bureau Association. These groups are made up of people who have a common interest in promoting, protecting, or creating public policies that benefit their members’ goals. We are free to join any interest group we would like to, however, some groups have membership requirements. The AARP require members to be over 55 years old, the American Medical Association requires members to hold a medical license, the Texas Bar Association requires members to be lawyers, and so on.
Identify a strong interest group in the state of Texas.
Describe what area of public policy this interest group tries to influence/impact.
Identify a specific recent law/regulation that this interest group has been able to influence/impact within the last ten years.
Explain in some detail what actions this interest group took to influence/impact this public policy.