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Timothy R. Johnson and Jason M. Roberts

TABLE 1

Nominee

President

Qualifications

Public Opinion

Senate Pressure

Clark Minton Warren Harlan Brennan Whittaker Stewart White Goldberg Fortas (1) Marshall Fortas (2) Burger Haynsworth Carswell Blackmun Powell Rehnquist (1) Stevens O’Connor Scalia Rehnquist (2) Bork Kennedy Souter Thomas Ginsburg Breyer

Truman Truman Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Eisenhower Kennedy Kennedy Johnson Johnson Johnson Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Nixon Ford Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Reagan Bush Bush Clinton Clinton

0 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 4 2 3 8 1 0 3 3 2 3 10 10 28 7 11 12 4 3

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 2 12 1 0

0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 2 2 1 0 3 3 33 5 6 5 2 0

Total

121

27

72

The Frequency of Presidential Political Capital Statements about Supreme Court Nominees (by type of comment)

because of the two vacancies which have occurred in recent weeks” (Nixon 1971). Table 1 presents the frequency with which each president made public statements that fall into these categories. Clearly the majority of public statements concern a nominee’s qualifications, but presidents do invoke statements about public support for their choices, as well as statements meant to pressure the Senate.16

16 We expected the president to use other types of statements as well. For instance, we thought pres- idents would argue that during their honeymoon period the Senate should acquiesce to their choices or that presidents with high approval ratings should be able to nominate whomever they please to the Supreme Court. We did not find any evidence that presidents spoke publicly about these factors.

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