- Issue 3 – April 2018, Volume 45

What Are The Judiciary’s Politics?

Essay by: Michael W. McConnell

45 PEPP. L. REV. 455 (2018)

What are the politics of the federal judiciary, to the extent that the federal judiciary has politics? Whose interests do federal judges represent? This Essay puts forward five different kinds of politics that characterize the federal judiciary. First, the federal judiciary represents the educated elite. Second, the federal judiciary represents past political majorities. Third, the federal judiciary is more politically balanced than the legislative or executive branches. Fourth, the federal judiciary is organized by regions, and between those regions there is significant diversity. Fifth, to the extent that the judiciary leans one way or the other, it leans toward the opposition party, that is, to the party that does not hold the presidency. With this understanding of the politics of the federal judiciary in mind, this Essay explores the current issues of contention regarding the confirmation process.

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