And the civil rights movement marking advancements in

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) and the civil rights movement marking advancements in equal rights for all persons, the Court needed to ―represent‖ that expanded citizen base in a different way. Currently, presidents take into account a candidate‘s race, sex, and religion, nominating justices based on those characteristics, instead of geography. Because of white ethnic hegemony, nominations by Washington and other early presidents, were arguably less complicated. Focusing on geographic diversity alone, presidents had only
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24 to pick among qualified white males from the several states, instead of from both male and female candidates representing various racial groups. Race, defined by the Court as a protected class, may arguably be the most controversial of those considerations, however. 11 For example, when Justice Thurgood Marshall resigned, President George H.W. Bush felt pressure to nominate another African-American to the vacancy. Complicating this, though, was a quota bill that the executive branch was currently fighting (Abraham 295). Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to fill the Marshall vacancy, and the nomination sparked a controversy that fed a media frenzy. In fact, the Thomas confirmation hearings gained so much media attention that his televised hearing had more viewers than the World Series game that was broadcast at the same time (Maltese 93). Senatorial Courtesy While the president plays the largest role in finding a candidate to nominate, the Senate takes their ―advice‖ power, granted by the Constitution, seriously. The most prevalent exercise of such power is what senators call ― senatorial c ourtesy.‖ This means that the senators from the nominee‘s home state must minimally suppo rt that candidate (Abraham 21). If they do not support the nominee, however, those senators may exercise senatorial courtesy and the nomination is almost guaranteed to fail. This practice began during the Washington administration with the failed nomination of a naval officer who was opposed by his home-state senators (Abraham 21). When exercising this power, senators are required to give a reason why they oppose the nominee, although the most 11 Race-based classifications were first ruled unconstitutional in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) in which the Court said that racially restrictive covenants cannot be enforced by any court.
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25 citied reason is that they find the nominee to be ―‗personally obnoxious‘‖ (Abraham 21). When making a nomination, presidents must heed the advice given to them by the Senate, especially that which is coming from the nominee‘s home -state senators, or otherwise face strong opposition to the nomination. With so many other factors potentially threatening the nomination, the president needs the support of his party and the nominee‘s home -state senators in order for the nominee to have even a fighting chance at confirmation.
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