Pivotal Politics, Presidential Capital, and Supreme Court Nominations

  title={Pivotal Politics, Presidential Capital, and Supreme Court Nominations},
  author={Timothy R. Johnson and Jason M. Roberts},
  journal={Congress \& the Presidency},
  pages={31 - 48}
We analyze the Supreme Court nomination process in order to provide a general explanation of presidents' propensity to win confirmation battles even in the face of an ideologically hostile Senate. The analysis serves two purposes. First, we argue that employing the conventional measure of the Senate's power to constrain the president's choice of nominees–the median senator–provides an inaccurate picture of this process. In its stead we argue that the filibuster pivot (or the sixtieth most… 
The Partisan Dynamics of Supreme Court Confirmation Voting
A sizable literature has explored the growth of partisan polarization in Congress and its impact on legislative behavior. Using this lens, we provide empirical analysis of the role of parties in more
Choosing When to Choose: Explaining the Duration of Presidential Supreme Court Nomination Decisions
Although the selection of Supreme Court nominees is of tremendous importance, the amount of time it takes presidents to select nominees varies dramatically across nominations. We argue that the
Presidential Strategy in the Judicial Appointment Process
I examine presidential use of public appeals on behalf of nominees to the U.S. courts of appeals from 1977 to 2005. Presidents Clinton and W. Bush have utilized this strategy far more regularly than
The Marginality Hypothesis and Supreme Court Confirmation Votes in the Senate
Studies of Supreme Court confirmations have found that a senator's vote is primarily determined by his or her ideological proximity to a nominee and that nominee's objective qualifications. This
Nuclear Fallout: Investigating the Effect of Senate Procedural Reform on Judicial Nominations
Abstract On November 21, 2013, U.S. Senate Democrats utilized the long threatened “nuclear option,” thereby allowing a simple-majority of the chamber to end debate on lower federal court judicial
Ideological Congruity between Appointing Presidents and Supreme Court Justices, 1937-2008
In keeping with Dahl’s (1957) concern for a link between judicial behavior and democratic processes, we examine the relationship between appointing presidents and Supreme Court justices. By using
Confirmation Wars, Legislative Time, and Collateral Damage
Presidents often see a Supreme Court nomination as an opportunity to leave a lasting mark on policy. Recent studies speculate that focusing on Supreme Court nominees affects presidential success
The Power to Appoint: Presidential Nominations and Change on the Supreme Court
Can presidents use their appointment power to pull the Supreme Court closer to their own ideological preferences? Using new and novel tests of existing theories of appointments, we provide the first
Confirmation Wars and Collateral Damage : Assessing the Impact of Supreme Court Nominations on Presidential Success in the U . S . Senate
Recent scholarship on nomination politics demonstrates that presidents often spend time, resources and attention (or “political capital”) promoting their Supreme Court nominees. Some of these studies
Presidential Success in Supreme Court Appointments: Informational Effects and Institutional Constraints
Contemporary theories of executive appointments use the framework of the spatial model, in which two or more actors strive to minimize the distance between their ideal point and the appointee's,


Presidential Capital and the Supreme Court Confirmation Process
The Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process has become one of the most contentious aspects of American politics in recent years, representing a seismic struggle between the president and
The Selling of Supreme Court Nominees
Politics has always been at the heart of the Supreme Court selection process. According to John Anthony Maltese, the first "Borking" of a nominee came in 1795 with the defeat of John Rutledge's
Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking
Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the last decades have led to a legislative gridlock. The author argues against this, advancing the theory that divided
Politics or Principle?: Filibustering in the United States Senate
Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays
The President in the Legislative Arena
In recent years, the executive branch's ability to maneuver legislation through Congress has become the measure of presidential success or failure. Although the victor of legislative battles is often
Senate Voting on Supreme Court Nominees: A Neoinstitutional Model
We develop and test a neoinstitutional model of Senate roll call voting on nominees to the Supreme Court. The statistical model assumes that Senators examine the characteristics of nominees and use
The Politics of Blame: Bargaining before an Audience
An important, but largely unexplored, class of bargaining problems involve two negotiators, who send signals to a third party. Such problems are especially common in politics, where elected officials
Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees. By David Alistair Yalof. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999, 280p. $27.50.
  • S. Goldman
  • History
    American Political Science Review
  • 2002
It is a pleasure to review this well-written book, which should be of enormous interest to every serious student of judicial politics and the presidency. Based upon a thorough mining of the
The President's Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Reagan
In this third edition of THE PRESIDENT'S AGENDA, Paul Light brings his acclaimed study up to date by weighing the successes and failures of the Bush and Clinton presidencies in setting a legislative
Confirmation Dynamics: A Model of Presidential Appointments to Independent Agencies
Many scholars contend that senators defer to the president on appointments to executive branch positions. Others assert that presidential appointments are highly constrained by senatorial `folkways'.