Senate judiciary committee after the senate judiciary

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Senate Judiciary Committee After the Senate Judiciary Committee receives the formal nomination, they fully research the background and qualifications of the nominee. Although the Committee was formed in 1816, it did not play a large role in the confirmation process until after the 1950s, when nominees regularly began to testify in front of the Committee (Maltese 5). In preparing their recommendation, the Committee often asks nominees to appear before them for questioning. These sessions may be short, lasting only a few hours, but may also extend for days. The testimony during Robert Bork‘s senate hearings , in 1987, lasted twelve days, and the confirmation hearings of Louis Brandeis were successfully delayed for over four months (Abraham 282; 141). During the hearings, the Committee Senators interrogate the nominee in an effort to discover their jurisprudential philosophy. Through questioning, the Senators try to discover how the justice will vote on specific issues in order to gauge how conservative or liberal that nominee is. Justice Blackmun explained what testifying in front of the Committee is like in his oral history project: One‘s sitting out there at a table all by himself. There‘s a ring of senators around with the Democrats on one side and the Republicans on the other. They question you by seniority. Down one side first, then the other side. It bothered me a little bit until all of a sudden it dawned on me that some
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26 of the comments that were being made by the senators were not so much directed at me as they were at their counterparts on the other side of the political aisle, so to speak. Once I realized that, I could relax a little. I think the experience of that hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee will remain in my memory very vividly. I almost don‘t have to look at the transcript. I remember exactly what happened and what each senator said. This was political hardball at the time. I thought it was not an easy day. Of course it was nothing compared with what Justice Thomas had to go through (Blackmun 27). Changes in the Confirmation Process When examining the history of Supreme Court nominations, nominations prior to 1930 functioned differently than nominations after 1930. While the process largely stayed the same, the types of people nominated changed. At the beginning of the Court, Washington explicitly sought well-known, publicly active men to nominate to the Court. He hoped that by choosing well-known men with established good reputations and public respect, such positive attributes would transfer to the infant Supreme Court; in time, this did happen. Such nominees, though, would not be confirmed in the current era. Before examining this change, it is important to understand how the nomination and the confirmation process developed.
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