Political Research Quarterly
The importance of lower federal courts in the policymaking process has stimulated extensive research programs focused on the process of selecting the judges of these courts and the factors influencing their decisions. The present study employs judicial decisionmaking in the U.S. Courts of Appeals as a window through which to reexamine the politics of selection to the lower courts. It differs from previous studies of selection in three ways. First, it takes advantage of recent innovations in measurement to go beyond reliance on political party as a measure of the preferences of actors in the selection process. Second, employing these new measures it examines the relative effects of the operation of policy and partisan agendas in the selection process. Third, a more complex model of selection is assessed than in most previous studies--one that expressly examines the role of senators and senatorial preferences in the selection process.
Micheal W. Giles, Virginia A. Hettinger & Todd Peppers, Picking Federal Judges: A Note on Policy and Partisan Selection Agendas, 54 Pol. Res. Q. 623 (2001).