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.

Cox PH Models. Presidents are consistently slower than Reagan at nominating district nominees. Courts with high vacancy rates consistently are prioritized by administrations.

Kaplan-Meier curve for blue slips condition. Presidents facing opposed delegations delay their nominations significantly more slowly than when facing allied or mixed delegation.