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Obama, the Senate, and Judicial Appointments

A Discussion with:

Sara M. Schiavoni
Lecturer in Political Science
John Carroll University

Monday April 18, 2016, 3:00 – 4 p.m.
Case Western Reserve University
Mather House Room 100
11201 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106

The Senate’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court raises critical questions.

    What are the norms for considering judicial nominations?

    Have they changed over time?

    How have Senate Republicans treated other Obama nominations?

    How did Senate Democrats treat nominations by President George W. Bush, and other Supreme Court nominations by Republican presidents?

    How does President Obama’s nomination of Judge Garland fit with his previous strategies for dealing with confirmation challenges?

In short, what is the context for the current battle, and how does it fit with the long-term trends in the process of “Advice and Consent?” Sara Schiavoni has co-authored the most current and thorough scholarship on these issues.

In two long articles in the Journal of Law and Courts and two more in Judicature, Ms. Schiavoni and her colleagues, Professors Elliot Skolnick of The Ohio State University and Sheldon Goldman of the University of Massachusetts, have exhaustively analyzed confirmation politics during the Obama presidency. They show how Obama’s nominees compare to those of other presidents, assess his success in winning nominations, and through extensive interviews elucidate the politics behind Senate Democrats’ embrace in 2013 of the “nuclear option” to eliminate filibusters of District Court, Circuit Court, and many executive branch nominations. In previous work they documented President George W. Bush’s success in naming “like-minded conservatives” to the federal bench.

Join us to learn about the facts and history behind the headlines, charges and counter-charges.

Beverages and other refreshments will be provided

About Our Guest

Sara M. Schiavoni teaches courses in United States politics, Judicial Politics, federal judicial selection and research methods at John Carroll University, where she has been teaching since 2003. Her research has focused on judicial selection and confirmation, judicial power within the separation of powers, the impact of gender on judicial decision-making, and other aspects of judicial politics.