EXPLORING THE LENGTH OF THE JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS BETWEEN THE 95TH AND 114TH CONGRESS

Open Access
Author:
Beeby, Thomas
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Amir Shawn Fairdosi, Thesis Supervisor
  • Matthew Richard Golder, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Judicial Confirmation Process
  • Supreme Court
  • District and Circuit Courts
  • Senate Polarization
  • Ideological Distance Between the President and Senate Majority Party
  • Judicial Ideology
  • Unified Government
Abstract:
This research quantitatively studies the effect that various concepts of partisanship and ideology have on the length of the confirmation process for federal judicial nominees from the 95th to 114th Congress. By testing whether a government is unified or divided, the ideological distance between the president and the average Senate majority party member, the level of polarization within the Senate, and the ideology of the nominee, I found that the length of the confirmation process generally decreased when a unified government is present and the Senate is less polarized. My research helps mend the gap between research on lower courts and the Supreme Court, and aims to better explain the effect that ideology and partisanship from all three major stakeholders – the president, the Senate majority party, and the nominee – have on the length of the confirmation process.