James O. Heath

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This article illustrates the disproportionate influence of South Carolina's political agenda on a national scale during the era of civil rights bj analysing the provocative actions of Senator Olin Johnston in obstructing the 1962 nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Marshall's battle with Johnston's South Carolina colleague, Strom Thurmond, during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1967 has obscured the significance of the quiet but determined Olin Johnston, j e t the events of the 1962 controversy highlight the overlooked significance of lower court battles in the politicisation of the judicial nominations process. Furthermore, Johnston's actions constituted only one element of South Carolina's record of dissent in the nominations process, suggesting that the study of Supreme Court nominations as "one-off" events is unhelpful and restrictive. By contrast, this article offers an analysis of the long-term motivations of South Carolina's politicians in this complex and confrontationalpoliticalprocess.

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