Filling the Bench

David A. Yalof

in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199208425
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Filling the Bench

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During the past quarter century, the subject of judicial recruitment has received considerable attention from scholars of every stripe. Social scientists, historians, law professors, and journalists have all tried to document the politics of recruitment to the American bench. The audience for such research has been growing as well. Sparked first by the controversy surrounding Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination in 1987, and then four years later by Clarence Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court, interest in judicial nominations has perhaps never been greater than in the modern era. After reviewing the literature on how judges are recruited in the United States, this article focuses on recruitment to the U.S. Supreme Court, the lower federal courts, and state courts. It also considers the future of scholarship on judicial recruitment.

Keywords: United States; judicial recruitment; Supreme Court; federal courts; state courts; politics; judicial nominations; judges

Article.  7563 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Politics and Law

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