Nominating Federal Judges and Justices

Lee Epstein and Jeffrey A. Segal

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238859
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

Nominating Federal Judges and Justices


This article uses the large extant of literature to explore the president's goals and the constraints he confronts in attempting to achieve them. It also addresses what scholars have said about whether presidents ultimately achieve their goals; that is, it considers the question of whether presidents get what they want in their judicial appointments. Presidents may whine about disappointing appointees; and they may fail to pack the courts. But they do seem rational in their anticipation that the federal judges and justices they name can help ensure their ideological legacy at least in the first few years after they depart from office.

Keywords: federal judges; federal justices; American president; ideological legacy; judicial appointments

Article.  9537 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Politics and Law

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