43 chapter 3 methodology the nomination and

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confirmation process, current nominees are essentially unknown.
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43 ~ Chapter 3 Methodology ~ The nomination and confirmation process of Supreme Court justices has changed slowly over the last two hundred and twenty years. The current process barely resembles that of the earliest justices. It seems that in more recent times, presidents nominate people who were largely unknown to both the legal and political communities, as well as to the general public. Although it is more difficult to test how well a nominee is known in legal and political circles, public recognition is easily determined through newspaper articles published during the nomination process. Newspapers provide the best evidence of public sentiment at the time of the nomination because they are published daily and without the wisdom and bias of hindsight. Recognition of the nominee by legal and political scholars may also be determined from newspaper articles, depending on their content. Population and Sample Throughout the entire history of the Supreme Court, there have been 115 terms, 18 with 110 unique justices, 19 which is the population from which the sample was chosen. For the sake of the sample, only the 110 unique justices were considered, and only their 18 Here, term is used in its most broad sense. Supreme Court justices have life tenure, although few of the earliest justices ever served more than a few years. A Supreme Court term beginning in October and lasts one year. 19 Five justices served twice on the Court: John Rutledge (1790-1791; 1795), Edward White (1894-1910; 1910-1921), Charles Evans Hughes (1910-1916; 1930-1941), Harlan Fisk Stone (1925-1941; 1941-1946), and William Rehnquist (1972-1986; 1986-2005). Rutledge left the Court, but later returned as Chief Justice in a recess appointment; Congress rejected the nomination a few months later. White, Stone, and Rehnquist all originally served as associate justices, but were subsequently nominated and elevated to Chief Justice. Unlike Rutledge, they did not leave the Court prior to their elevation.
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44 first nominations were considered. The sample consisted of 50 justices, approximately half of the Supreme Court membership. First, a list of the entire Court membership was adapted from Appendix C of Henry J. Abraham‘s Justices, Presidents, and Senators . Justices were listed in order from the time they took the oath of office, with the earliest justices first so that the list began with James Wilson and ended with Samuel Alito. A modified stratified sampling procedure was used to ensure even distribution. Because the justices were randomly chosen, it was important to take measures to ensure that all time periods were represented so that one time period was not disproportionately represented. Based on the literature review, 1930 was hypothesized to be the turning point in history, after which nominees would be considerably less recognized at the time of their nomination 20 .
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