TitleMoving up the judicial ladder: the nomination of state Supreme Court justices to the federal courts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSolberg, R, Bratton, K
JournalPeace Research Abstracts
Date Published2004
ISBN Number0031-3599

State institutions have assumed increasingly important roles in policymaking. Moreover, prior research indicates that judicial experience has emerged as a particularly important factor in nomination to the federal courts. Despite these developments, justices from state Supreme Courts are not often nominated to the federal judiciary. This article identifies the factors that influence the nomination of state Supreme Court justices to the federal courts. The results indicate that partisan alignment between the nominee, senators, and president is a critical factor in nomination. Age is also a significant factor in predicting nomination; a justice's likelihood of being nominated peaks in her early 50s. Moreover, state high court justices who serve on relatively prestigious courts or have considerable seniority are less likely to be nominated to the federal courts thereby suggesting that visibility may not be an asset to state justices wishing to move to the federal courts.