Supremely Political

The Role of Ideology and Presidential Management in Unsuccessful Supreme Court Nominations

By John Massaro

Subjects: Presidency, The, Political Science
Series: SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9780791403020, 272 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791403013, 272 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents



1. Ideology and Timing in the Fortas, Haynsworth, and Carswell Nominations

2. Presidential Management: The Fortas Nomination

3. Presidential Management: The Haynsworth Nomination

4. Presidential Management: The Carswell Nomination

5. Explaining Unsuccessful Supreme Court Nominations

6. The Bork and Ginsburg Nominations





Drawing upon revealing and generally unpublished presidential papers associated with Lyndon Johnson's ill-fated nomination of Abe Fortas, and Richard Nixon's failed designations of Clement F. Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell, and culminating in a lively investigation of the Bork and Ginsburg cases, the author convincingly demonstrates that the Senate's negative actions can be traced to the exciting interplay of three factors.

The author demonstrates that these decisions are based not only upon the nominee's ideology and the timing of the nomination, but also on the president's management of the confirmation process. He vividly illustrates that most failed nominations can be attributed to unwise choices, disastrous miscalculations, and outright blunders made by the presidents during the confirmation process. While other scholars have explained unsuccessful nominations by employing the factors of ideology and timing, the author breaks new and fertile ground in highlighting the role of presidential management in his explanation.

John Massaro is associate professor of political science at the State University of New York, Potsdam.