In addition to lobbying senators interest groups

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In addition to lobbying senators, interest groups often also launch campaigns in the public sector. By influencing public opinion, the interest groups hope that the senators will be forced to acknowledge their objection, especially when threatened with the possibility of failing reelection. During the Parker nomination, senators were overwhelmed by the outcry from black voters because of the campaign launched by the NAACP (Maltese 62). In a study testing the influence of organized interest groups on nominations, Gregory Caldeira and John Wright found that interest groups have a ―statistically significant effect on senators‘ confirmation votes‖ (Caldeira and Wright). Because of such past successes, interest groups will likely continue to influence senators and Supreme Court confirmations for years to come. Presidents and the Media Historically, presidents had a habit of staying out of the confirmation process. Before the Reagan Presidency, the Press Secretary or a representative of the Justice Department made formal nominations (Maltese 113). Even though presidents understood the difficulty of the confirmation process, speaking publicly on behalf of the nominee was considered too political for a process that was supposed to be removed from all politics (Maltese 112). Several changes within the executive branch contributed to the more public role that presidents now play in the confirmation process. For example, the Reorganization Act of 1939 institutionalized the executive branch, which enabled the
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34 president to formulate and implement policy more efficiently (Maltese 119). Although not having a direct influence on nominations, presidents began to formalize how names were gathered to make their nominations. Unfortunately, because many more people within the executive branch now played a role in name-gathering process for nominations, it is easier for internal power struggles to garner negative media attention (Maltese 124). To aid in spinning the media attention a nomination receives, President Nixon created the Office of Communications in 1969 (Maltese 129). Among its other duties, this office controls the information given to the public about nominations and coordinates media blitzes on behalf of the nominee. As the confirmation process shifted to become more public, the types of people nominated also needed to change. The confirmation process required a different type of nominee, in order to be confirmed. Whereas before, the Senate and president largely controlled the confirmation process, now the public and interest groups had a vocal role, although a substantially less formal one. Interest groups, especially ones without the ability to lobby Congress strongly, not only began testifying in front of the Committee, but the groups also used the media, including print and radio sources, to campaign for or, more often, against a particular nominee. Although the Senate Judiciary Committee had long been looking into the background of nominees, interest groups and the public now also had access to such records.
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