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NCJ Number: 126877 Find in a Library
Title: Judges War: The Senate, Legal Culture, Political Ideology and Judicial Confirmation
Editor(s): P B McGuigan; J P O'Connell
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 315
Sponsoring Agency: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation
Washington, DC 20002
Publication Number: ISBN 0-942522-02-8
Sale Source: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation
Institute for Government and Politics
721 Second Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These 14 papers analyze the process by which the United States Senate confirmed nominees for Federal judgeships during 1985-86 and argue that, for many senators and interest groups, ideology inappropriately became the overriding criterion and resulted in a sustained political assault on the judicial nominees of the Reagan administration.
Abstract: However, the critics of the nominees used ambiguous phrases such as judicial sensibility and judicial temperament, instead of focusing on judicial competence as indicated by performance. Thus, they focused on the appearance of impropriety, using code words rather than substantive arguments. Ed Meese, President Reagan's nominee for Attorney General in 1984, was the first target of this process. The ideological assaults accelerated in 1986 and 1987, particularly during the confirmation struggle for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The analysis concludes that philosophical neutrality did not exist for many senators and that greater understanding of both the responsibilities and the limitations of each branch of our government is needed if the value of democratic governance is to be preserved. Chapter reference notes
Main Term(s): Judge selection
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Political influences; US Senate
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