Before Supreme Court nominees are allowed take their place on the high Court, they must face a moment of democratic reckoning by appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite the potential this holds for public input into the direction of legal change, the hearings are routinely derided as nothing but empty rituals and political grandstanding. In this book, Paul M. Collins, Jr., and Lori A. Ringhand present a contrarian view that uses both empirical data and stories culled from more than seventy years of transcripts to demonstrate that the hearings are a democratic forum for the discussion and ratification of constitutional change. As such, they are one of the ways in which "We the People" take ownership of the Constitution by examining the core constitutional values of those permitted to interpret it on our behalf.
"Collins and Ringhand's SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS AND CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE is an important addition to the literature on Supreme Court selection politics generally and the most important study available on confirmation hearings per se. More generally and, at least as importantly, it carries important messages about the interface between confirmation politics and democratic theory, ones that have certainly changed the way I will view and evaluate Supreme Court confirmation hearings past and future."
-Elliot Slotnick, The Ohio State University in the Law & Politics Book Review