Nominations, Confirmations, and Departures of Federal Judges 5 President Dwight D. Eisenhower named Earl Warren to serve as chief justice, for example, he did so in part because Warren staunchly supported Eisen- hower for the 1952 Republican nomination (Baum 2001, 47). Personal friendships have assuredly influenced a considerable number of nominations to the Supreme Court as well. “In Taft’s choice of Horace H. Lurton, in Wilson’s of Louis D. Brandeis, in Truman’s of Harold H. Burton, and in Kennedy’s of Byron R. White, to cite some obvious illustrations, personal friendship figured prominently,” wrote political scientist Henry J. Abraham (Abraham 1993, 63). Occasionally, however, the temptation for a president to nominate a known friend or associate can backfire. When President George W. Bush selected his former personal attorney and close associate Harriet Miers to fill a vacancy on the high Court in 2005, the nomination ran into strong opposition from both Republicans, who dis- trusted her views on abortion, and Democrats, who emphasized that she had no judicial experience. Miers withdrew her name from consideration after two days of widespread criticism, and Bush ultimately filled the open- ing with Samuel Alito. It is a common refrain from presidents and members of the Senate that while they are seeking the best qualified candidates to fill the bench, their counterparts on the other side of the aisle are motivated by politics. Evi- dence demonstrates, however, that merit and politics matter to both politi- cal parties in selecting and opposing candidates to serve on the federal bench. In turn, as discussed in Q2 and Q3, interest groups have come to play an important role in nomination and confirmation processes. FURTHER READING Abraham, Henry J. 1992. Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court. 3rd Edition. New York: Oxford Uni- versity Press. Abraham, Henry J. 1993. The Judicial Process. 6th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press. Banks, Christopher P., and David M. O’Brien. 2008. Courts and Judicial Policymaking. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Baum, Lawrence. 2001. The Supreme Court. 7th Edition. Washington, DC: CQ Press. Collins, Paul M., Jr., and Lori A. Ringhand. 2013. Supreme Court Confir- mation Hearings and Constitutional Change. New York: Cambridge Uni- versity Press. Epstein, Lee, and Jeffrey A. Segal. 2005. Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments. New York: Oxford University Press.
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