By Lee Epstein

From Louis Brandeis to Robert Bork to Clarence Thomas, the nomination of federal judges has generated extreme political clash. With the arriving retirement of 1 or extra preferrred courtroom Justices--and threats to filibuster decrease court docket judges--the choice approach may be, once more, the heart of red-hot partisan debate. In recommendation and Consent, top criminal students, Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal, supply a short, illuminating Baedeker to this hugely vital process, discussing every thing from constitutional heritage, to the most important ameliorations within the nomination of judges and justices, to the function of the Judiciary Committee in vetting nominees. Epstein and Segal make clear the function performed via the media, by means of the yankee Bar organization, and through distinctive curiosity teams (whose efforts helped defeat pass judgement on Bork). even though it is usually 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 issues. 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 production 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 well vote to ban filibusters, to the much more dramatic advice that Congress put off a judge's existence tenure both via time period limits or obligatory retirement. With key appointments looming at the horizon, suggestion and Consent offers every little thing involved electorate want to know to appreciate the partisan rows that encompass the judicial nominating method.

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DiTullio and John B. Schochet, “Saving This Honorable Court: A Proposal to Replace Life Tenure on the Supreme Court with Staggered, Nonrenewable Eighteen-Year Terms,” 90 Virginia Law Review 1093 (2004), and sources cited therein. See also Artemus Ward, Deciding to Leave: The Politics of Retirement from the United States Supreme Court (2003). illness foiled their plans—the liberals William O. Douglas, William J. Brennan Jr. (1956–1990), and Thurgood Marshall (1967–1991) all left the bench in poor health during Republican administrations.

Blackmun (1970–1994) Though appointed by Nixon, Blackmun moved increasingly to the left during his years on the Court. Wanting to ensure that his replacement would also be a liberal, he waited until a Democrat won the presidency. Sandra Day O’Connor (1981–2005) The press reported that O’Connor was disappointed when she thought Al Gore won the presidential election of 2000. She remained on the Court to see George W. Bush win a second term, and has now retired with Republicans in control of the Senate as well.

In all cases . . 1). 1 When Politics Can Be Deadly: Departures from the Bench in Some Other Countries To say that political considerations may drive departures from the bench is not to equate American practice with norms in other societies. In Argentina, incoming leaders regularly impeach or otherwise force judges appointed by their predecessors to leave the bench. Indeed, despite a constitutional guarantee of life tenure, supreme court justices in Argentina keep their jobs for fewer than six years on average.

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