Judicial Nominations: Whither "Advice and Consent"?
The importance to the American political system of a federal judiciary of high competence, integrity, and independence can scarcely be exaggerated. It is not simply that federal judges are appointed for life terms and daily decide questions of great political significance and legal complexity. As de Toqueville noted long ago, our system is distinctive in the extent to which the most fundamental political, social, and philosophical issues are eventually passed upon by judges. To list but a few of the subjects of judicial decisions in recent years--racial equality, procedural rights in criminal cases, the rights of the poor, legislative reapportionment, relationships between religious and secular
NOTE:This chapter was prepared by Peter H. Schuck and Dr. Martha Joynt Kumar.