The Confirmation Obstacle Course: Signaling Opposition Through Delay

33 American Review of Politics (spring 2012): 23-49.

27 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2011 Last revised: 1 Jun 2013

See all articles by Lisa M. Holmes

Lisa M. Holmes

University of Vermont - Department of Political Science

Salmon A. Shomade

University of New Orleans

Roger E. Hartley

University of Baltimore

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

We examine the time required for lower federal court nominees to complete the confirmation process. Using duration models, we analyze delay at the Judiciary Committee stage and the full Senate vote stage from 1977 to 2010, finding that delay has been used by members of the committee and the full Senate to signal opposition to nominees. Delay at the committee stage has influenced delay on the Senate floor for circuit and district court nominees, at least in the years since Robert Bork’s failed nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Our findings indicate that senators pick up on committee delay as a cue in the confirmation process. Examining the distinct stages of the confirmation process provides important new insights into legislative signaling behavior and confirmation politics.

Keywords: confirmation politics, district court, circuit court, judicial nominations, lower feder court nominations, delay

Suggested Citation

Holmes, Lisa M. and Shomade, Salmon A. and Hartley, Roger E., The Confirmation Obstacle Course: Signaling Opposition Through Delay (2012). 33 American Review of Politics (spring 2012): 23-49., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1969886

Lisa M. Holmes

University of Vermont - Department of Political Science ( email )

United States

Salmon A. Shomade

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States

Roger E. Hartley (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21214
United States
828-458-0944 (Phone)

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