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Friday, March 17, 2017

Vacancy on Supreme Court 2017 - Odds Against Finalists from Previous Vacancies

Commentary by Joel Schumm, professor at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law

As mentioned in this post, Judges Hostetler and Kincaid were finalists for the 2016 vacancy that was filled by Justice Slaughter. Both judges have applied again. If earlier selection processes are predictive of this one, the odds are not in their favor as finalists for this vacancy.

Thus, seven of the eight non-selected finalists from the past four vacancies have applied again for the next available vacancy. Just one of five (a mere 20%) were finalists on their subsequent application. Whether Judge Hostetler and Judge Kincaid outperform those odds will be known in a little over a month.

One would expect finalists from a previous vacancy to do well as a subsequent applicant. They will have familiarity with the process and have not only met some (or all) of the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission but impressed them enough to make the final cut. This would seem especially true in 2012 when the JNC membership was the same for both vacancies (except for the change of Chief Justice).

This year, five of the seven JNC members will have previously interviewed Judges Hostetler and Kincaid; the new members are Molly Kitchell (who replaced David Tinkey) and James Young (who replaced Lee Christie).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 17, 2017 11:37 AM
Posted to Vacancy on Supreme Court - 2017