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Volume15
Year2006
TitleJudicial Selection, Appointments, Gridlock, and the Nuclear Option
Author(s)David S. Law & Lawrence B. Solum
First Page51
AbstractThis Article unfolds in six parts, of which the introduction is Part I. In Part II, The Legal Framework for Judicial Selection, we explore both the constitutional provisions and the Senate rules and customs that bound the judicial selection process. Part III, The Premises of the Model, discusses the analytical assumptions underlying our depiction of the judicial selection process in the form of a simple spatial model that can be easily understood and manipulated. The heart of the article is found in Parts IV and V. In Part IV, A Pivotal Politics Model of the Judicial Selection Process, we set forth our model, apply it to the actual history of federal judicial selection over the last thirty year, then adapt it to the prospect of the nuclear option. Part V, Presidential Nomination Strategy in the Shadow of the Nuclear Option, evaluates the President's strategic alternatives in the aftermath of the truce that has for now forestalled the exercise of the nuclear option. Finally, in Part VI. Conclusion: Debunking the Conventional Wisdom, we recapitulate our various challenges to the folk wisdom surrounding judicial selection and offer some thoughts on what lies ahead.