Andrew O'Geen

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Robert M. Howard - Chair

Second Advisor

David C. Nixon

Third Advisor

Scott Graves


In recent months, presidential appointments to the Supreme Court have become an increasingly salient issue with both the public and the press. The relevance of the topic makes it an inviting subject for political science research. When looking at the question of judicial quality, the problem that researchers have faced in the past is one of quantifying quality. This work seeks to expand on previous survey research done on the quality of individual justices. By using quality scores (Comiskey 2004) as a dependent variable, it is possible to analyze influences on the President’s nomination choice and their relative impacts on the quality of justices. By using a more rigorous approach, this study can more confidently make assertions about the nature of the nomination and confirmation process and the quality of Supreme Court justices.