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2018

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Law and Politics

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Sites Of Storytelling: Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Patrick Barry Aug 2018

Sites Of Storytelling: Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, Patrick Barry

Articles

Supreme Court confirmation hearings have an interesting biographical feature: before nominees even say a word, many words are said about them. This feature— which has been on prominent display in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh—is a product of how each senator on the confirmation committee is allowed to make an opening statement. Some of these statements are, as Robert Bork remembers from his own confirmation hearing, “lavish in their praise,” some are “lavish in their denunciations,” and some are “lavish in their equivocations.”1 The result is a disorienting kind of biography by committee, one which produces ...