Determining the Impact of Pivotal Actors in the Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominations

Wallace, Caitlin
The power and importance of the US Supreme Court is found to flow throughout the veins of the Constitution. Due to the nature of importance and the significance of the Court, the nominees must be chosen quite carefully. From the creation of the docket to the writing of the majority opinion, each separate aspect of the Court is affected by the individuals chosen to serve and because of this; great attention must be paid to their selection. As outlined in Article II, Section I of the US Constitution, the president shall nominate and with the advice and consent of the senate confirm Supreme Court justices. Although each Senator casts only one vote for confirmation, several models exist and are examined herein in which key Senators are outlined as heavily impacting the confirmation of a particular justice. Through examination of confirmation statistics in addition to four actor-centered models (two committee based and two party based), this study examines which individuals involved in the nomination/confirmation stages are most pivotal in the process and extent of their impact. Which pivotal actor in the Senate best predicts a successful confirmation of nominees to the US Supreme Court?
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