Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2014

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Political Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation project considers judicial appointments in a new light. The project, first, considers how appointments to the United States Federal Judiciary might be thought of differently if the appointment to multiple positions were thought of as interdependent decisions rather than independent decisions. I create a simulation based model that matches judges with vacant positions in the judiciary to see how our expectations of appointments should differ for different levels of the judiciary and in different political environments. I then consider how this approach might translate to other selection mechanisms comparing the selection system for the federal judiciary with other systems that are commonly used in the American states. I compare and contrast the results of these models to discuss how selection mechanism dictates the types of judges that are selected. Finally, I apply empirical tests to the testable predictions from the model of the United States Federal Judiciary, finding support for a number of the hypotheses that result from this approach.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

James F Spriggs, II

Committee Members

Lee Epstein, Andrew D Martin, John W Patty, Elizabeth Maggie Penn


Permanent URL: