Date of Completion


Thesis Advisor(s)

Thomas Miceli; Metin Cosgel

Honors Major



Behavioral Economics | Econometrics | Economics | Law and Economics | Supreme Court of the United States


Previous research has identified strategic behavior in the nomination, confirmation, and retirement processes of the Supreme Court, each independently. This paper analyzes the interaction between the justices, the president, and the Senate in these processes. I constructed a game theoretic model to consider the nomination and approval process of Supreme Court justices and the change in dynamics that might result from an impending election. I hypothesize that sitting justices take into account the party affiliations of the president and the Senate when they are deciding whether it is the optimal time to retire to achieve their own strategic objectives. The results from testing my econometric model provided evidence in support of my hypothesis – justices are more likely to retire under a same party president, and they are more likely to retire in the first two years of a president’s term.