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  • Cited by 21
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
October 2013
Print publication year:
2013
Online ISBN:
9781139626453

Book description

Before Supreme Court nominees are allowed to take their place on the High Court, they must face a moment of democratic reckoning by appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite the potential this holds for public input into the direction of legal change, the hearings are routinely derided as nothing but empty rituals and political grandstanding. In this book, Paul M. Collins and Lori A. Ringhand present a contrarian view that uses both empirical data and stories culled from more than seventy years of transcripts to demonstrate that the hearings are a democratic forum for the discussion and ratification of constitutional change. As such, they are one of the ways in which 'We the People' take ownership of the Constitution by examining the core constitutional values of those permitted to interpret it on our behalf.

Awards

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2014

Reviews

'Conventional wisdom suggests that confirmation hearings of the Supreme Court justices before the Senate Judiciary Committee are broken, but Collins and Ringhand present a sophisticated, empirically grounded argument that suggests that they are not … This book is a game changer. Summing up: highly recommended.'

J. R. Vile Source: Choice

‘Collins and Ringhand's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change is an important addition to the literature on Supreme Court selection politics generally and the most important study available on confirmation hearings per se. More generally, and at least as importantly, it carries important messages about the interface between confirmation politics and democratic theory, ones that have certainly changed the way I will view and evaluate Supreme Court confirmation hearings past and future.'

Elliot E. Slotnick Source: Law and Politics Book Review

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