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Todd A. Eisenstadt, "Catching the State Off Guard: Electoral Courts, Campaign Finance, and Mexico's Separation of State and Ruling Party," Party Politics, 10 (November, 2004), 723-725.

First Paragraph:
Ideal types of judicial branch design such as Shapiro's triadic relationship between autonomous judiciaries, other government branches, and complaint parties are useful only as contrasts in analyzing one-party states where, however independent the judiciary may be on paper, the courts are dominated by the executive branch and the ruling party controls nominations and promotions. The fusing of the judiciary to the party-state contradicts Shapiro's triadic model of judicial autonomy (Shapiro, 1981: 1-20).1 In oneparty authoritarian states, the most important trait of strong judicial institutions in democratic polities, the ability of the judiciary to check 'tyranny by the majority' in the executive branch, is conspicuously absent.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Subpoenas by magistrates and actor compliance
Table 2. Origins of Mexico's federal electoral court magistrates
Table 3. Photocopy 'knock-off' complaints by party and year

Last Paragraph:
In regard to the formal independence of Mexico's federal electoral court since late 2000, less has been more, highlighting the tension between formal institutions and their informal contexts. A qualification may be in order to the conventional wisdom that ombudsmen are more independent than government-directed EMBs. Ombudsman agencies may be best suited to stay on task and guard independence during the early stages of constructing a democratic rule of law; but indirect executive supervision - by relatively autonomous judicial or other authorities - may be more sustainable and conducive to democratic electoral regulation over the long run.