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Voting for Justices: Change and Continuity in Confirmation Voting 1937–2010

Author(s): Cameron, Charles M; Kastellec, John; Park, Jee-Kwang

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Abstract: The contentiousness of Senate voting on Supreme Court nominations increased dramatically from 1937 to 2010. We identify four potential sources of the increase: (1) changes in the Senate; (2) changes in the nominees; (3) changes in the political environment; and, (4) changes in senators’ evaluative criteria. Using new data and improved statistical techniques, we estimate a well-performing model of senators’ individual voting choices on Supreme Court nominees. Simulations allow an evaluation of the contribution of the four classes of factors to increased contentiousness. The principal source of increased contentiousness was the combination of increasingly extreme nominees and an increasingly polarized Senate. Also significant was the increased mobilization of interest groups. In sum, increased contentiousness seems largely to reflect the ideological polarization of American political elites.
Publication Date: Apr-2013
Citation: Cameron, Charles M, Kastellec, Jonathan P, Park, Jee-Kwang. (2013). Voting for Justices: Change and Continuity in Confirmation Voting 1937–2010. The Journal of Politics, 75 (2), 283 - 299. doi:10.1017/S0022381613000017
DOI: doi:10.1017/S0022381613000017
ISSN: 0022-3816
EISSN: 1468-2508
Pages: 283 - 299
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: The Journal of Politics
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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