Senatorial deliberation and Supreme Court nominations

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Senatorial deliberation and Supreme Court nominations

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Although senators actively participate in the confirmation debates, existing research that examines the confirmation debates has questioned whether the Senate is capable of fulfilling its constitutional duties. Unfortunately, this research does not fully investigate why senators participate in these important debates. To investigate the factors that influence senatorial deliberation I build on previous research that describes confirmation votes as opportunities for position taking and formally models the selection stage. I argue these two strands of research provide a framework for understanding what factors influence senatorial deliberation across the Supreme Court appointment process. Overall, I find strong support for the hypothesis that senators strategically engage Supreme Court confirmation debates. More specifically, I find political, electoral, and institutional considerations affect the willingness of senators to participate in these important debates.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2014. Major: Political Science. Advisor: Timothy R. Johnson. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 99 pages.

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Gregory, Charles. (2014). Senatorial deliberation and Supreme Court nominations. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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