21 the code sheet provided a way to condense and

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21 The code sheet provided a way to condense and organize the information found in the biographies. Variables in the code sheet covered work experience prior to justiceship. Such work experience could include holding the following positions: state congressman, state senator, United States Congressman, United States Senator, as well as other elected offices. Some of the earliest justices had political experiences that did not fit under any defined variable. For example, James Wilson and John Blair, Jr. both served in some capacity in the ratifying conventions prior to the ratification of the Constitution. No defined variables were included on the code sheet for such unique types of work, so that type of information had to be added by hand, as their own category. A variable for well-known relatives was also included on the code sheet. In this section, if the biography stated that a particular family member was well known, or held a job that would mean the family member was well known, a notation was made. A variable also identified the amount and type of education that the nominee received prior to nomination to the Supreme Court. Almost every biography gave information about the education of the nominee. At the bottom of the code sheet, there was room to record important quotations from the biographies. Finally, after reading each biography, a preliminary decision was made as to whether the justice was well known or largely unknown at the time of their nomination. Determinations were made based mostly on the kinds of experiences the justice held. For example, a U.S. Senator or a governor would be more well known than a district attorney or law school dean. 21 For an example of the code sheet, see Appendix C.
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47 Newspaper Articles In addition to examining biographical sketches from a secondary source, an original qualitative analysis of newspapers articles was conducted to understand and test the public‘s awareness of a nominated justice. First, the newspaper articles had to be found. Two databases, 22 available through Lycoming College‘s Snowden Library, were used. The America’s Historical Newspapers database contains newspapers from 1690- 1876, most of which were published on the east coast. The New York Times Historical Newspapers database contains newspaper articles originally published in the New York Times newspaper from 1851 to three years ago, which at the time of the study was 2006. Similar search methods were used for both databases. The justice‘s name (in most cases, th e justice‘s last name sufficed) was always used as the first search term. Different forms of the words nominate, confirm, or appoint were often used as the second search term. 23 Finally, results for each justice were limited to one year prior to taking the oath of office, and one year after taking the oath. For example, because Souter took the oath of office in 1990, results were limited to between 1989 and 1991. Search results were sorted using functions available in both databases so that the most relevant results appeared first. Almost every search returned more results than were relevant.
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