Current Research Projects
King, Jonathan M. and Ian Ostrander. 2020. “Prioritizing Judicial Nominations after Presidential Transitions.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 50 (3): 592-610. [PDF]
We use a unique dataset of all district court federal judicial vacancies from 1981-2019 that exist at the start of a president coming to their first term in office. We find significant variation in the time administrations take to nominate judges. Furthermore, presidents prioritize nominations to districts with multiple vacancies or those that have senators politically aligned with the administration.
“Just a Number? The Impact of Age on Federal Judicial Nominations”
I examine the impact of age on confirmation success for federal judicial nominations. Using a novel dataset of over 2,500 lower court nominations from 1981-2020, I find that age impacts a nominee’s chances of being confirmed but this is conditioned by several factors. Older circuit nominees are more likely to be confirmed but no effect occurs for district nominations. However, previous judicial experience can dramatically increase a young circuit nominee’s confirmation prospects. Further, these findings shift following the 2013 “Nuclear Option.”