Monday, June 28, 2010

Dataset of Questions Asked & Answered of SCOTUS Nominees

Lori A. Ringhand (UGa) and Paul M. Collins, Jr. (U N Texas) have compiled a dataset of the questions asked by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court since 1939.

Their paper, May it Please the Senate: An Empirical Analysis of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings of Supreme Court Nominees, 1939-2009, investigates "if questioning patterns differ depending on the race or gender of the nominee" and finds that "the Bork hearing is less of an outlier in several ways than is frequently assumed, and [that] abortion has not dominated the hearings."

The authors also discover "notable disparities in the issues addressed by Democratic versus Republican senators" and "that female and minority nominees face a significantly different hearing environment than do white male nominees."

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