The Increasing Senate Scrutiny of Lower Federal Court Nominees
Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 117, No. 2, pp. 259-278, Summer 2002
21 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 1, 2009
We argue that the scrutiny of lower federal court nominations in the Senate is not unique to the crisis during the Clinton administration or during the tenure of Orrin Hatch as Judiciary Committee chair. Instead, increased scrutiny of lower court nominees has been a long time in the making. Lower court nominations became more contentious during the Carter administration, increased further late in Reagan's second term, and reached a zenith after the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress. We employ data that examines the delay of nomination from 1969 until 1998. We examine delay pre and post Carter and pre and post the time Senator Orin Hatch served as judiciary chair. We also examine the impact of unified and divided government on these appointments.
Keywords: judicial selection, delay, lower federal court nominations, Judicial nominations, judicial confirmations
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