REUTERS/Jason Reed - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts (R) presents new Associate Justice Samuel Alito on the front steps of the Supreme Court in Washington February 16, 2006, on the day of Alito's investiture. Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor who announced her retirement last year.

Blog Post | Strengthening American Democracy

Tempering Judicial Confirmation Optimism

June 12, 2014, Russell Wheeler

Recently, news of President Obama's success nominating and confirming judges has engendered optimism. In this post, Russell Wheeler argues this juggernaut of confirmation is due primarily to the 2013 rules change on filibustering nominees in the Senate, and may well grind to a halt in 2015 if Republicans take control of the Senate. 

  • In the News

    Appointing judges to existing vacancies is not court-packing. It's simply the way the system works. ... It's hard for me to believe that behind this so-called court efficiency proposal is not an effort to keep the court's active judgeships balanced with four Republican appointees and four Democratic appointees.

    May 29, 2013, Russell Wheeler, National Public Radio
  • In the News

    I have no doubt the next president will decide what happens to Roe v. Wade by his appointments to the Supreme Court.

    October 3, 2012, Elisabeth Jacobs, Glamour
  • In the News

    Whether you agree with it or not, the Supreme Court has become almost as much a political institution as it is a legal one...For one, the cases that come before the Court are very often politically charged. Furthermore, you have nine justices that are there for life and can, for all intents and purposes, act with impunity

    October 1, 2012, Russell Wheeler, Erickson Tribune
  • In the News

    It's hard to know what explains the dearth of Obama nominees compared to recent predecessors, but I have to think that increased threats by home-state senators to withhold blue slips is part of the answer.

    June 18, 2012, Russell Wheeler, The National Law Journal
  • Podcast

    @ Brookings Podcast: Obama's Nominees to Federal Judgeships Lag

    December 24, 2010, Russell Wheeler

  • Expert Q & A

    Beyond the Senate Confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor

    August 7, 2009, Russell Wheeler

  • Expert Q & A

    President Obama's Court Nominations

    March 20, 2009, Russell Wheeler

  • Interview | The Diane Rehm Show (WAMU)

    Senate Rules Changes: Filibustering of Judicial Nominees

    March 30, 2005, E.J. Dionne, , Jr.