Presidential Strategy in the Judicial Appointment Process: 'Going Public' in Support of Nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals

Article excerpt

Lisa M. Holmes, "Presidential Strategy in the Judicial Appointment Process: 'Going Public' in Support of Nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals," American Politics Research 35 (September 2007): 567-94.

The author examines the use of "going public" as a presidential strategy for gaining support for nominations to the federal courts of appeals. Holmes studies the timing, frequency, and likelihood with which presidents choose to "go public" and the relative success "going public" has on securing a confirmed nomination. She finds that presidents are most likely to "go public" when a judicial nominee will be, or is having, difficulty with confirmation. For example, a president during the period studied would "go public" to seek support for a nominee if the president and the Senate were ideologically distant. In addition, the president would turn to the public for support if the nominee was confronted with interest-group opposition, or if the nominee would diversify the bench. With respect to diversity, the author notes that presidents were even quicker to "go public" when the nominee was a minority than when the nominee was female. …