By Lee Epstein
From Louis Brandeis to Robert Bork to Clarence Thomas, the nomination of federal judges has generated excessive political clash. With the arriving retirement of 1 or extra ultimate courtroom Justices--and threats to filibuster reduce court docket judges--the choice method might be, once more, the heart of red-hot partisan debate. In recommendation and Consent, top felony students, Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal, supply a short, illuminating Baedeker to this hugely very important approach, discussing every thing from constitutional history, to an important changes within the nomination of judges and justices, to the function of the Judiciary Committee in vetting nominees. Epstein and Segal make clear the position performed through the media, through the yank Bar organization, and by means of certain curiosity teams (whose efforts helped defeat pass judgement on Bork). notwithstanding it's always assumed that political clashes over nominees are a brand new phenomenon, the authors argue that the appointment of justices and judges has continuously been a hugely contentious process--one principally pushed via ideological and partisan matters. The reader discovers how presidents and the senate have attempted to remake the bench, starting from FDR's debatable "court packing" scheme to the Senate's construction in 1978 of 35 new appellate and 117 district court docket judgeships, permitting the Democrats to form the judiciary for years. The authors finish with attainable "reforms," from the so-called nuclear choice, wherein a majority of the Senate may possibly vote to ban filibusters, to the much more dramatic recommendation that Congress do away with a judge's existence tenure both by means of time period limits or obligatory retirement. With key appointments looming at the horizon, recommendation and Consent offers every thing involved electorate want to know to appreciate the partisan rows that encompass the judicial nominating technique.
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Additional info for Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments
Since we spend much of this book considering that evidence, suffice it to supply here only a small piece: the role of partisanship in judicial appointments. Since the expansion of the federal judiciary in the mid-nineteenth century, presidents have looked to their own party to make appointments to the federal bench. Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, and Ronald Reagan virtually never nominated a person outside of their own political party; even the Democrat Jimmy Carter, who was more willing than any other president in this period to look beyond partisan boundaries, made only 16 percent of his appointments to Republicans.
David Nixon and J. David Haskin tell us that these judges will remain on the bench, even if they are ill or eligible for retirement, to prevent a president from appointing a successor of a different political party. Conversely, they show that when the president and judge share a partisan attachment, the probability of retirement doubles. James F. Spriggs and Paul Wahlbeck, two other political scientists, concur. 5 when 38 Advice and Consent they are of different parties. 11 As for the Supreme Court, even less doubt exists about the role of politics in motivating justices to depart from the bench.
In nine of those ten periods, Congress has added new seats to the circuits (the exception was during World War I). All in all, a unified government increases the likelihood of an appellate bench expansion by over 50 percent, even after accounting for the judiciary’s workload. 44 Advice and Consent This is not to say, we hasten to note, that workload or other efficiency concerns have played no role in Congress’s decision to create new seats. But the effect is muted. As the law scholars John M. de Figueiredo and Emerson Tiller demonstrate, it takes an additional 6,500 cases in the circuits (since the last bench expansion) to match the effect of a unified government.
Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments by Lee Epstein