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Law

2006

David S. Law

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Judicial Selection, Appointments Gridlock, And The Nuclear Option, David S. Law, Lawrence B. Solum Nov 2006

Judicial Selection, Appointments Gridlock, And The Nuclear Option, David S. Law, Lawrence B. Solum

David S. Law

In this paper, we employ simple formal models drawn from political science to explain the occurrence of gridlock in the federal judicial selection process, and to explore the implications of the nuclear option, by which a bare majority of senators employs parliamentary tactics to abolish the filibuster with respect to judicial nominations. Our application of a pivotal politics model leads us to reject the notion that appointments gridlock is a straightforward consequence of divided government. Instead, meaningful changes to the ideological balance of the federal bench require a more demanding ideological alignment of multiple veto players relative to the status ...