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Advise and Consent: What Are the Ethics of Confirmation?
The ChallengeConfirmation battles over President Bush's nominees have seemed to drag through the Senate, especially battles over judicial appointments. The president's and the Senate's role in appointments, which are constitutional and political issues, also raise questions about the ethics of the process.
What's at StakeTwenty years ago, the average circuit court confirmation took 53 days. Now it takes about 156 days. And President Bush is not the first to see his nominations stymied. Almost 60 of President Clinton's judicial nominees were defeated through Republican blocking of hearings and votes. Some scholars set the beginning of the conflict
escalation with President Jimmy Carter and the changes he adopted in the judicial selection process. In any case, the confirmation process has always been political though we are definitely at a nadir of partisan acrimony. Both parties are questioning the fairness of the nomination and confirmation process.