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Appointing Federal Judges: The President, The Senate, And The Prisoner's Dilemma, David S. Law Sep 2004

Appointing Federal Judges: The President, The Senate, And The Prisoner's Dilemma, David S. Law

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This paper argues that the expansion of the White House's role in judicial appointments since the late 1970s, at the expense of the Senate, has contributed to heightened levels of ideological conflict and gridlock over the appointment of federal appeals court judges, by making a cooperative equilibrium difficult to sustain. Presidents have greater electoral incentive to behave ideologically, and less incentive to cooperate with other players in the appointments process, than do senators, who are disciplined to a greater extent in their dealings with each other by the prospect of retaliation over repeat play. The possibility of divided government ...


'You'd Better Be Good': Congressional Threats Of Removal Against Federal Judges, Marc O. Degirolami Aug 2004

'You'd Better Be Good': Congressional Threats Of Removal Against Federal Judges, Marc O. Degirolami

ExpressO

In the attached article, I argue that congressional threats of removal against federal judges are increasing in prevalence and forcefulness and that as a result the strained relationship between the judiciary and Congress – a topic of recent attention and debate – will continue to deteriorate in the coming years. I examine two bills, the Feeney Amendment to the PROTECT Act and House of Representatives Resolution 568 (in which Congress would disavow citation in judicial decisions to foreign law), to demonstrate this thesis.

I next ask what explains the phenomenon of congressional threats of removal, deploying first Thomas Hobbes’ state-of-nature political theory ...