Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1968630
 
 

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Voting for Justices: Change and Continuity in Confirmation Voting 1937-2010


Charles M. Cameron


Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Politics; New York University School of Law

Jonathan P. Kastellec


Princeton University - Department of Politics

Jee-Kwang Park


Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

December 2, 2011


Abstract:     
The contentiousness of Senate voting on Supreme Court nominations increased dramatically from 1937-2010. We identify four potential sources of the increase: 1) changes in the Senate; 2) changes in the nominees; 3) changes in the political environment; and, 4) changes in senators' evaluative criteria. Using new data and improved statistical techniques, we estimate a well-performing model of senators' individual voting choices on Supreme Court nominees. Simulations allow an evaluation of the contribution of the four classes of factors to increased contentiousness. The principal source of increased contentiousness was the combination of increasingly extreme nominees and an increasingly polarized Senate. Also significant was the increased mobilization of interest groups. In sum, increased contentiousness seems largely to reflect the ideological polarization of American political elites.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: Supreme Court, Senate, nominations, roll call votes, polarization, interest groups, race

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Date posted: December 6, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Cameron, Charles M. and Kastellec, Jonathan P. and Park, Jee-Kwang, Voting for Justices: Change and Continuity in Confirmation Voting 1937-2010 (December 2, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1968630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1968630

Contact Information

Charles M. Cameron
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Politics ( email )
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
Jonathan P. Kastellec (Contact Author)
Princeton University - Department of Politics ( email )
Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
Jee-Kwang Park
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
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