Supreme democracy : the end of elitism in Supreme Court nominations

Davis, Richard, 1955- author
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Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator Richard Davis
  • Format Books
  • Publication New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2017]
  • Physical Details
    • xi, 275 pages ; 25 cm
  • ISBNs 9780190656966, 0190656964, 9780190656980, 0190656980
  • OCLC ocn983797387

Summary

  • " In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Supreme Court nominations were driven by presidents, senators, and some legal community elites. Many nominations were quick processes with little Senate deliberation, minimal publicity and almost no public involvement. Today, however, confirmation takes 81 days on average-Justice Antonin Scalia's former seat has already taken much longer to fill-and it is typically a media spectacle. How did the Supreme Court nomination process become so public and so nakedly political? What forces led to the current high-stakes status of the process? How could we implement reforms to improve the process? In Supreme Democracy: The End of Elitism in the Supreme Court Nominations, Richard Davis, an eminent scholar of American politics and the courts, traces the history of nominations from the early republic to the present. He examines the component parts of the nomination process one by one: the presidential nomination stage, the confirmation management process, the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the increasing involvement over time of interest groups, the news media, and public opinion. The most dramatic development, however, has been the democratization of politics. Davis delves into the constitutional underpinnings of the nomination process and its traditional form before describing a more democratic process that has emerged in the past half century. He details the struggle over image-making between supporters and opponents intended to influence the news media and public opinion. Most importantly, he provides a thorough examination of whether or not increasing democracy always produces better governance, and a better Court. Not only an authoritative analysis of the Supreme Court nomination process from the founding era to the present, Supreme Democracy will be an essential guide to all of the protracted nomination battles yet to come. "--
  • "In Supreme Court Nominations in an Age of Democracy, Richard Davis, an eminent scholar of American politics and the courts, traces the history of nominations from the early republic to the present, focusing in particular on how changes in the process have affected the two central institutions involved: the presidency and the Senate. He breaks the process down into its components and examines them one by one: the presidential nomination stage, the confirmation management process, the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the increasing involvement over time of interest groups, television networks, Internet commentators, and-more broadly-public opinion. From there, Davis analyzes how the transformation of the process in recent years has affected both the Senate and the presidency. As a consequence of these changes, the Senate has seen its internal procedures and rules change. It has also affected relations between the two parties within the institution, and reshaped how Senators' interact with constituents. The presidency has transformed, as well. The infrastructure for advancing confirmations has grown enormously, and the president puts far more effort into winning over public opinion than in the past. Needless to say, the relationship between the Senate and presidency has changed too, and in a more acrimonious direction. Partly because of Davis' focus on how institutions evolve over time, this will stand as an authoritative analysis of the Supreme Court nomination process from the founding era to the present"--

Notes

  • Includes bibliographical references and index.

Contents

  • Introduction -- Constitutional and early American political underpinnings -- The traditional process -- The transition toward democracy -- Presidential selection -- The changing role of the senate -- Presidential management -- Conclusion
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