Reframing the Confirmation Debate
165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 21 (2016)
12 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2016
Date Written: July 5, 2016
This essay reframes the current debate about Supreme Court Confirmation hearings from whether or not the Senate should be obligated to hold confirmation hearings without delay to why immediate confirmation hearings are so important for some and such an anathema to others. It does so by looking at how a Supreme Court of nine helps the Court to fulfill its Constitutional duties, but also how nine Justices may at the same time thwart the Court’s objectives. The essay proceeds by examining how ideological polarization among the Justices and not the Court’s size is the source of current (and past) tension and how the orientation and effect of the current polarization are antithetical to a well-functioning Supreme Court.
Keywords: confirmation, Supreme Court, Justices, Merrick Garland, ideology, polarization, judicial nominee, Justice Scalia
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