Of the 152 nominations to the US Supreme Court between 1789 and 2001, 32 were not confirmed by the Senate. The 32 nominations represent 27 individuals who failed to be confirmed the first time they were nominated, however, three were later nominated again and confirmed. The Supreme Court nominations discussed here were not confirmed for a variety of reasons, including Senate opposition to the nominating President, nominee's views, or incumbent Court; senatorial courtesy; perceived political unreliability of the nominee; perceived lack of ability; interest group opposition; and fear of altering the balance of the Court. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has played an important role in the confirmation process, particularly since 1868. These nominations have been the subject of extensive legal, historical, and political science writing, a selected list of which is included in this report.
Calls for change in the Supreme Court also have been directed at three other aspects of the Supreme Court appointment process: the involvement of outside interest groups; the overall length of time taken by the process; and the process by which the Senate as a whole decides whether to confirm or reject the President's nominee. This new book also examines recess appointments of federal judges and professional qualifications for appointment to the federal judiciary.
Steven C Caldwell, Editor