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Separating Rhetoric from Reality: A Political and Statistical Look at Federal Judicial Confirmation Delays

bepress Legal Repository
Publication Date
  • Judicial Appointments
  • Judicial Confirmation
  • Courts
  • Judges
  • Law And Society
  • Politics
  • Education
  • Political Science


In this article, I conduct a statistical analysis of confirmation delays in the ratification of appointments to the federal bench. Section II discusses the history of confirmation delays and some of the political factors that have caused these delays. Section III assesses the effect of factors such as age, education, ethnic origin, and political control of the U.S. Senate on 614 District Court appointments between 1985 and 2000. Section IV conducts a similar analysis on 362 Circuit Court appointments between 1961 and 2000. Last, Section V similarly scrutinizes all 110 Supreme Court appointments from 1789 through 2000.

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