Politicization in the Federal Judiciary and Its Effect on the Federal Judicial Function
New York University Journal of Legislation & Public Policy Quorum, Vol. 19 (2018)
21 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2017 Last revised: 13 May 2018
Date Written: June 29, 2017
During federal judicial confirmation hearings, the term “politicization” comes up as a frequent buzzword amongst political pundits and scholars. While the federal judiciary’s increasingly politicization, over the last few decades, is generally accepted this agreed-upon acknowledgment of judicial politicization does not imply agreement as to its value. There are clearly those who view politicization positively, accompanied by an almost equally loud chorus of those decrying it. But, regardless from where pro- or anti-politicization’s arguments proceed both generally view politicization as a question of judicial legitimacy. It is thus the relationship between politicization and the judiciary that this paper seeks to understand.
This paper attempts to define and measure the exact relationship between politicization and the judiciary. If politicization is really about judicial legitimacy, then what measureable affect does politicization have on it? If this connection fails (i.e., is not falsifiable) then what alternate connections can be found between the judiciary and politicization that can be backed up with falsifiable evidence?
Keywords: politicization, federal courts, federal, judiciary, judicial legitimacy, confirmation hearings, Gorsuch
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