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Shipan on Senate Filibusters

Abstract: Although the selection of Supreme Court nominees is of tremendous importance to all presidents, the amount of time it takes presidents to select nominees varies dramatically across nominations. We argue that the timing of nominations is a function of the political constraints the president faces. We examine all Supreme Court nominations since 1882 and find that divided government, a newly-elected president, a nominee’s personal characteristics, and Senate rule changes increase the length of the nomination stage. Nomination decisions are abbreviated as the Senate nears the end of session and as the presidency’s institutional capacity has increased over time.

Charles R. Shipan (2006), “Choosing When to Choose: Explaining the Duration of Presidential Supreme Court Nomination Decisions,” unpublished paper. Available here.

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