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Deference or Preference?

Thomas H. Hammond and Jeffrey S. Hill

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1993, vol. 5, issue 1, 23-59

Abstract: Presidential nominees for executive office are almost always confirmed by the Senate. There is considerable disagreement in the literature about what accounts for this Senate behavior. Some scholars argue that the high degree of presidential success reflects a norm of senatorial deference to presidential wishes. Other scholars argue that while senators may say that it is desirable for the Senate to defer to the president's choices for administrative office, their behavior in the confirmation process betrays an intense interest in the nominee's policy views. In this paper we present a model of the appointment process which is based on senatorial and presidential policy preferences. This model is able to account for several major aspects of presidential success in the appointment process. It also provides a framework for further study of other aspects of appointments.

Keywords: administrative agencies; appointments; norm of deference; policy forecasts; policy preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1993
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