Over recent decades, federal judicial selection controversies are worsening in their frequency and intensity. They distort all three branches of government. My particular concern is with federal judicial selection for judgeships below the Olympian heights of those on the United States Supreme Court, namely, the judges on the twelve regional circuit courts of appeals and the ninety-four district courts.

The depth of partisan acrimony over judicial confirmations has placed us in the infernal regions, and we seem to be continuing our descent. Analyzing how we got there is invariably affected by the biases, or more gently, by the perspectives of the observer. I will try to avoid suggesting blame, but it is my hope to suggest the forces—political, historical, and even jurisprudential—that have propelled the process in the direction we have gone.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.