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Making the Supreme Court

Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 11/21/2023

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Making the Supreme Court

The Politics of Appointments, 1930-2020

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Digital Download ISBN:9781696613453


Based on rich data and qualitative evidence, Making the Supreme Court provides a sharp lens on the social and political transformations that created a new American politics.

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Product Description

Appointments to the United States Supreme Court are now central events in American political life. However, this has not always been the case. As late as the middle of the twentieth century, presidents invested little time and effort in finding and vetting nominees. Media coverage was desultory, public opinion was largely non-existent, and the justices often voted independently and erratically.

In Making the Supreme Court, Charles M. Cameron and Jonathan P. Kastellec show how the growth of federal judicial power from the 1930s onward inspired a multitude of groups struggling to shape judicial policy. Over time, some groups moved beyond lobbying the Court to changing who sits on it. Other groups formed expressly to influence appointments. These activists and organized groups penetrated the national party system so that after about 1980, presidential candidates increasingly pledged to select and confirm nominees who conformed to specific policy and ideological litmus tests. Once in office, these presidents reshaped the executive selection system to deliver on their promises. As Cameron and Kastellec argue, the result is a new politics aimed squarely at selecting and placing judicial ideologues on the Court. They make the case that this new model gradually transformed how the Court itself operates, turning it into an ideologically driven and polarized branch.

Author Bio

Charles M. Cameron is professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University. The author of numerous articles in leading journals of political science, he is also the author of Veto Bargaining, which won the American Political Science Association's Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize and the William H. Riker Award. Jonathan P. Kastellec is professor of politics at Princeton University. His research has been published in the American Political Science Review; American Journal of Political Science; Journal of Politics; Journal of Law, Economics & Organization; Journal of Empirical Legal Studies; and Political Research Quarterly.