AUTHOR'S NOTE: I would like to thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.
Why “Go Public”? Presidential Use of Nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals
Article first published online: 24 JAN 2008
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 38, Issue 1, pages 110–122, March 2008
How to Cite
HOLMES, L. M. (2008), Why “Go Public”? Presidential Use of Nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 38: 110–122. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2007.02631.x
- Issue published online: 24 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 24 JAN 2008
In recent years, presidents have utilized public appeals on behalf of their nominees to the U.S. Courts of Appeals with increasing regularity. In this study, I examine the timing, audience, and themes of these presidential speeches from 1977 to 2004. I find that presidents have tended to discuss circuit court nominees who are vulnerable to defeat in the confirmation process before narrow audiences consisting of sympathetic groups or campaign supporters. Presidents discussed nominees in an effort to influence Senate behavior, but more so to court favor with like-minded groups and link nominees to electoral politics. These findings indicate that presidents have begun to insert their nominees into public political discourse for their own political gain, rather than to help their nominees secure confirmation.