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Saint Louis University School of Law

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Choosing Justices: How Presidents Decide, Joel K. Goldstein Jan 2011

Choosing Justices: How Presidents Decide, Joel K. Goldstein

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Presidents play the critical role in determining who will serve as justices on the Supreme Court and their decisions inevitably influence constitutional doctrine and judicial behavior long after their terms have ended. Notwithstanding the impact of these selections, scholars have focused relatively little attention on how presidents decide who to nominate. This article contributes to the literature in the area by advancing three arguments. First, it adopts an intermediate course between the works which tend to treat the subject historically without identifying recurring patterns and those which try to reduce the process to empirical formulas which inevitably obscure considerations shaping ...