Charles Gregory

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In this article, I investigate why and how senators participate in the hearings to advance their political goals. The framework I present builds on previous research and assumes that participation in the hearings can be advantageous or disadvantageous for individual senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specifically, I fin d empirical support for the hypothesis that senators participate strategically in discussions about political and social issues at the confirmation hearings. Senators who anticipate confirmation will further their goals will be less likely to engage nominees in discussions about issues, because nominations are expected to be confirmed. In contrast, committee members who anticipate the nomination will hinder their goals will be more likely to engage a nominee in discussions about political issues to extend the scope of the debate and arouse opposition against the nomination.

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