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Since the defeat of Abe Fortas in 1968, the process of selection and confirmation of nominees to the Supreme Court has shifted from tightly controlled, leadership-dominated deference to presidential choice to democratic process, shaped by public participation and media coverage. It has become, in short, a process that reflects the best and worst of modern American politics.;Arguing that the modern judicial confirmation process is the result of changes in the larger political setting, this text provides the reader with a different perspective on American politics during the last quarter-century. Focusing on alterations in the structure of national electoral politics as well as the expansion of judicial power and changes within the US Senate, it details the evolving political context surrounding the process of selecting and confirming the most important US judges and is intended to help the reader understand why nominees to the Court are currently subject to the crucible of modern participatory democracy.